Overhead Power Line Routing and Permitting

Owning and operating power generation plants and more than 390 miles of overhead electric transmission lines throughout Michigan, and committed to providing redundancy and reducing the risk of power outages in the Lower Peninsula, our client set out to update services for its northern Michigan customers. The project required coordination with local, state, and federal entities, including Michigan Army National Guard Camp Grayling. The base occupies much of the area served and traversed, which presented land use and ownership concerns. We also faced the challenge of addressing sensitive environmental resources while maintaining the Camp’s training mission. The project also crossed a major interstate and state highway, which required manipulating the design such that only state-owned lands were impacted, keeping new construction within the existing Michigan Department of Transportation right-of-way.

The work involved more than 87 miles of overhead electric transmission lines and 21 miles of natural gas service lines, three existing substation tie-ins, and siting for a new transmission substation and a new natural gas-fired generation site. Services included desktop routing and alternative alignment evaluation to minimize both private property acquisitions and impacts to environmental resources. Upon selection of the preferred alignment, RETTEW provided field routing and final alignment for 48 miles of electric transmission lines and a 6-mile natural gas service line. Through proactive program management and collaboration, we managed portions of the design and construction phases under time and budget targets, resulting in increased residential and commercial service reliability while ensuring the military installation energy security.


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