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Transmission Line Projects


Transmission lines are necessary to allow energy to flow from power plants to major substations. UES is committed to strengthening the transmission system, which is the backbone of our electrical grid, and allows customers to power their homes and businesses.

What transmission line projects has UES proposed?

UES is always improving and expanding its system to maintain safe, reliable service for customers. When this work involves establishing new routes for transmission lines that operate at or above 115 kilovolts (kV), the company must secure approval from the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) before proceeding with construction. These "line-siting" projects also are reviewed by the arizona Power Plant and Transmission Line Siting Committee before the ACC takes action. Since public participation is welcomed in this review process, UES makes information about such projects available on this Web site.

When will the ACC take action on these cases?

UES typically spends six months or more engaged in a public planning process before requesting a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility (CEC) that would authorize construction of a new or upgraded transmission line. The Line Siting Committee then reviews the company's proposal before forwarding a recommendation to the ACC for consideration in a public meeting.

Specific timelines for individual projects are included in the fact sheets or newsletters posted on the pages devoted to those projects on this Web site.

How can I get involved?

UES welcomes public input in its line siting projects. Your first opportunity to get involved is to participate in public meetings that will be held throughout the process of identifying potential routes for a proposed line. Information about these meetings is posted on this Web site and included in newsletters sent to residents in the study area of a proposed project as well as others who request them. You can submit written comments about the projects during these meetings, by mail or through online comment forms available on this Web site.

Once UES has filed a CEC application, you may provide public comments to the Line Siting Committee during its review of the proposed project. This input may be submitted in writing or offered during the committee's public hearings. The time and location of these meetings will be posted on this Web site.

You also have the option of intervening in the case, which would make you a party to the committee's quasi-judicial process. Interveners receive notice of all meetings, technical conferences, hearings and proceedings. If you become an intervenor, you will have the option to submit substantive testimony or utilize expert witnesses about the technical aspects of the proposals. You also will be subject to cross-examination on any testimony you may provide.

Once the Line Siting Committee has forwarded its recommendation to the ACC, you may submit written comments to the Commission or offer public comment during the open meeting when the proposed project is set to be considered.

What other permits may be required before UES can build a transmission line?

If a new or expanded substation is included as part of a proposed project, that facility may be subject to local permitting requirements. additional permits may also be required for crossings of highways and railroads and for other special circumstances.

Will these proposed lines produce electric and magnetic fields (EMFs)?

EMFs can be generated by anything that conducts electricity, including electric lines, office equipment and home appliances. High-voltage transmission lines do generate EMFs, but the strength of those fields diminish with distance. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and other government agencies do not consider EMFs a proven health hazard, although research into their possible health effects is ongoing.

To learn more, you can review the available research posted by the following federal health agencies.

  • National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
    EMF Electric and Magnetic Fields associated with the Use of Electric Power (2002 Summary Report)
  • Centers for Disease Control
    EMFs In the Workplace

Will these proposed lines affect the value of my property?

It depends on the details of the project and the property in question as well as larger economic trends affecting the local real estate market. Research into this question suggests that while property values may fall slightly after transmission lines are built nearby, they typically rebound in relatively short order. For more information, please review the following studies.
Transmission Line Impact on Residential Property Values
The Effects of Overhead Transmission Lines on Property Values

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