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Environmental impacts of new transmission lines


Old-Va-Surveyor / flickr

Because electric transmission lines can span hundreds of miles, there are environmental issues and concerns utility companies must take into account when planning and constructing new infrastructure.

geoAMPS offers industry-specific software products that help utility companies complete projects more quickly. Quicker completion means project cost savings and increased revenue.

The software helps utilities deal with both the temporary and long-term impacts of transmission line construction. geoAMPS assists utility decision-makers determine the best routes that will lessen the environmental disadvantages of transmission line construction.

Environmental impact

The effect of a new transmission line on the immediate environment may depend on topography, land cover and existing land use.

In forested areas, for example, the entire right-of-way (ROW) width is cleared and maintained free of tall-growing trees for the life of the transmission line. The result is a permanent change to ROW land cover.

For agricultural landowners, transmission line construction typically suspends the use of the land on a temporary basis, as heavy vehicles move across the ROW. Once construction is completed, the fields are restored and agriculture use can resume.

Planners of a transmission line project may also be faced with a decision of whether to route construction through archaeological sites. In that case, the utility will need to allay concerns not only of private property owners, but historical preservation groups and state and federal government agencies as well.

geoAMPS solution

geoAMPS software is the go-to solution for utility companies looking to increase project efficiency and save costs. Benefits of the software include:

  • Land acquisition – geoAMPS has the capability to erase weeks, even months from the process of obtaining land rights from hundreds, even thousands of landowners in project areas. The software helps manage encroachments, taking into account the agreed use and debris and structures.
  • Streamline planning and construction – With automatic scheduling, reminders and reporting, geoAMPS software helps manage inventory of materials, workflows and utility crossings during construction.
  • Stakeholder relations – Utility organizations can maintain comprehensive records of property owner issues about the environmental impact of the ROW in the project area. Field agents can update notes of discussions with landowners, upload pictures and access more project information via mobile devices. That increases efficiency and reduces errors and duplication.
  • GIS – Utility companies have access to robust GIS mapping capabilities through geoAMPS. Receive information on topography, wind patterns, land use, existing utilities and more. With GIS capabilities, utility project planners have a tool to make the best decisions on routes for new transmission lines.
  • Infrastructure assets – With geoAMPS, utility companies have easy access to infrastructure asset information, including double-circuiting transmission lines, single-circuiting transmission lines and underground transmission lines. There are environmental advantages of double-circuiting an existing transmission line, including little or no additional ROW clearing, land use patterns already adapted to existing ROW, and reduced magnetic fields.

These are just some of the benefits possible for utility capital projects by using geoAMPS software. geoAMPS customers report project savings of 35 percent through added efficiencies. Considering the large investment utility companies make in undertaking capital projects, that level of savings makes a dramatic impact on the bottom line.

For more information, call geoAMPS at 614-389-4871 or visit

Schedule a Demo

Dan Liggett is Communications and Public Relations Consultant for geoAMPS.

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