Electric transmission line routing using a decision landscape based methodology
Transmission line construction is one of the most complex engineering projects. Routing a transmission line is much more difficult than routing any other public infrastructure. The present system used by utilities is time consuming and does not produce satisfactory results. Actual construction of a large transmission line can be completed in a year or two, but due to complexities involved in the approval procedure, and opposition from various groups it can take years to build a line, and in some cases projects are stopped altogether. The Geographic Information System is used in several ways by transmission line designers but its use in routing is limited. A new method, analytical minimum impedance surface (AMIS), developed by the University of Kentucky Transportation Research Center for routing highways is being adapted to routing transmission lines. This method will enhance the public involvement in the routing process, reduce opposition from stakeholders, and increase the probability of acceptance of the project. This thesis contains the preliminary work required to apply AMIS to transmission line routing. Landscape features that affect the route of the line are the most significant part of this research. These features are incorporated into raster based GIS, and using information gathered from stakeholders, the route with minimum opposition is developed between two substations. Routing a line is also affected by the rules and regulations in a particular state. In this thesis a brief introduction is given to the main legal requirements involved in line routing. Non-point impacts that are independent of terrain are also given in detail. Potential stakeholders and there importance in the routing process is also explained in this thesis.
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