VELCO's Real Estate & Right-of-Way Department manages more than 13,000 acres of right-of-way, acquires property and easements as necessary for transmission projects, and protects VELCO's real property investments and deeded rights to ensure public and employee safety, and electric system reliability. On these pages, you can find more information on landowner requests for right-of-way uses, right-of-way encroachments, outreach materials on transmission line safety, and how to contact us if you have questions.
A right-of-way is a corridor of land that VELCO uses to access, construct, operate and maintain electric facilities. Transmission rights-of-way typically contain wood or metal poles or structures carrying high-voltage electric and communications lines. Most of VELCO's rights-of-way are established through the purchase of perpetual easements from owners of property, some acquired recently, but most decades old. At the time the easements were acquired, the landowners received compensation for the land crossed by the rights-of-way, and they granted VELCO, or its predecessors, permanent easement rights that remain intact even upon a sale of the underlying land. Where an easement exists, anyone who purchases the land remains subject to the terms of VELCO's permanent easement rights even if the original land is subdivided.
VELCO's Real Estate & Right-of-Way staff is responsible for managing information about our property easements and working with land owners where new rights-of-way are needed for transmission system improvements.
Potential land owners can learn of utility-owned right-of-way easements through a title search since the easement documents are filed in the land records of each town. Some easements date back as many as 100 years. You can also contact the VELCO Real Estate & Right-of-Way Department to request a copy of the easement crossing your property.
VELCO adheres to strict National Electric Safety Code standards that mandate adequate distances and clearances, from energized lines to prevent contact accidents and to ensure electric system reliability. Our easement rights acquired over private and public properties generally prohibit the placement of structures and materials, restrict certain uses, and require the management of vegetation, within, overhanging and outside the easement area.
Examples of non-permitted uses include, but are not limited to, buildings, swimming pools, landscape plantings, signs, solar panels, grade changes, recreational equipment, and fences or walls that might unreasonably interfere with the easement rights. Non-permitted uses can create hazards that may not be apparent, but which could result in power outages or electrocution.
While not routine, VELCO will consider landowner requests to use the rights-of-way, but only for uses that are not specifically prohibited by the easement and will not pose a safety risk, or obstruct maintenance of the line.
The safety and reliability of Vermont’s electric transmission system depends on effective maintenance of VELCO’s structures to ensure they can continue to serve Vermont’s energy needs and safely withstand harsh weather. We must periodically replace or upgrade aging and damaged infrastructure to continue to deliver the safe and reliable power that is essential to our homes, businesses, and communities.
Generally, our work includes the following steps:
- Initial field review
- Landowner outreach
- Line maintenance
- Restoration and clean-up
Learn more here.
A landowner’s first step in seeking a conditional right-of-way use approval is to contact a VELCO Real Estate & Right-of-Way Department representative and discuss preliminary plans. You can reach us at 802.770.6357 or use our online contact form.
Attn: Right-of-Way Department
Vermont Electric Power Company, Inc.
366 Pinnacle Ridge Road
Rutland, VT 05701
The request should include:
- Right-of-Way Application form completed online (below) or copy of the paper form.
- A surveyed plot plan with elevations drawn to scale and stamped by a Vermont Registered Land Surveyor. The plan must show all pertinent dimensions referenced to the edge of right-of-way and numbered transmission structures within and must reference the Vermont state plane coordinates.
- Electrical grounding and other design plans should be prepared by and stamped by a Vermont Professional Engineer or a licensed professional.
- For proposed uses that require permits, licenses, or other authorizations from someone other than VELCO, a list of same, indicating the status of those applications (e.g., approved or pending, etc.) or permits shall be included in the submittal package, except for storm water permits. A complete copy of the storm water permit (or pending application) is required, since it may involve grading within VELCO’s right-of-way.
Please read the VELCO Right-of-Way Conditional Usage Policy before completing the application below.
NOTE: No work may begin within VELCO rights-of-way until an approval letter has been executed by VELCO.
VELCO has developed guidelines for conditional uses of our transmission corridors that may be considered and approved by VELCO engineers and managers. The first step is to contact a VELCO Real Estate & Right-of-Way representative and discuss preliminary plans. Reach us by calling 802.770.6357 or by emailing email@example.com. After the initial consultation, you may submit a formal request as outlined in VELCO's Electric Transmission Right-of-Way Usage Policy . During our review, we may request revisions to the application and additional documentation. Based on the review, we will determine whether or not to allow the requested use, and any terms or conditions if the use is permitted, and the reasons, if the request is denied.
Check out the Right-of-Way Policy
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