Frequently asked questions about power lines and projects

Providing reliable electric service to our member-owner cooperatives sometimes requires us to upgrade existing transmission lines or build new lines. We also must continuously keep the area around power lines clear. If there is an existing or proposed power line in your area, we understand you may have questions. We’ve tried to answer your frequently asked questions with the information below.

View a list of power line projects that are proposed, in development, under construction or in the property restoration phase:

Power line projects


What do transmission poles look like? How tall are they?

Power poles


Why does Great River Energy need to remove and trim trees? How wide of a clearance is needed? Can I plant a tree near a power line?

Tree removal and vegetation management


Does Great River Energy consider lakes or streams when building new projects? Will birds or other animals be considered?

Environmental resources


Are Great River Energy’s power lines strong enough to withstand severe storms? What is EMF?

Safety and EMF


How long does it take to build a power line? Will I have to clean up or replant the grass once you are finished? Can you bury the lines underground?

Construction and restoration


What is stray voltage? What about TV interference?

Other questions


Why do you need to build new power lines? Who will benefit from a power line? Who decides where new transmission lines are needed?

Need and benefit of projects


Once it is determined a new line is needed, who decides the specific route the power line will follow? Who gets to decide?



How can I share my ideas about where the power line should be built? Who is involved in looking at potential routes?

Getting involved in the process


Who grants Great River Energy the necessary permits to build a new power line? Do you work with the state of Minnesota? Will you talk to our city council?

The permitting process


How much will I be paid for hosting a portion of a power line on my land? What is an easement? What is a right of way?

Easements and rights of way


Download our People, Property and Power Lines brochure for additional information:

People, Property and Power Lines