What is a Right-of-Way?
- A legal agreement between a property owner and an electric utility that allows the electric utility to build and maintain facilities within the property directly beneath and to each side of an electric power line
- This is often referred to as an easement
- Easements allow the electric utility access to the power lines and related equipment at any time when there’s a need to perform maintenance and/or repairs
- To maintain access, the land within the easement is kept clear of vegetation
- Trees and brush are removed that would obstruct the utility’s activities within the easement
- Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) has an active right-of-way maintenance re-clearing program
- To learn more about that program, visit our Right-of-Way Maintenance Program page.
Right of Way Rules
- GVEA tries not to disrupt existing activities on the property
- Reasonable care is taken to minimize damage
- Some disruptions, such as tire ruts from heavy equipment, are inevitable
- The landowner must also comply with the rules of the rights of way
- Vehicles, buildings or other permanent structures located within the easement that restrict our ability to have access to the power lines and electrical equipment are prohibited
- We ask that landowners keep the easements clear and vehicle-accessible year-round
- When GVEA crews are blocked from performing maintenance and/or making repairs, it can disrupt reliability and create a safety concern, especially in the event of an emergency
Is a Right of Way Open to the Public?
Power line easements are granted to GVEA by property owners. The property within the easement remains private. Public access is not provided within these routes.
- No legal public thoroughfare is created by the installation of a power line
- Landowners retain all rights of ownership
- Property owners can prosecute trespassers
- Note: GVEA has produced a “no trespassing” sign specifically for posting within GVEA easements – To obtain a sign, please contact the Land Management Section within our Engineering Services Division
Typical Width of a Power Line Right-of-Way
- Distribution Lines: 30-foot width (15 feet on each side of power line centerline)
- 69 kilovolt (kV) Transmission Lines: 50-foot width (25 feet on each side of the power line centerline)
- 138 kV Transmission Lines: 100-foot width (50 feet on each side of the power line centerline)