RAPID/BulkTransmission/Rhode Island/Land Access

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Rhode Island Bulk Transmission Land Access(3-RI)

In Rhode Island, a bulk transmission developer may need approval from the state agency with jurisdiction to access state owned real property. A developer may also need a number of state highway encroachment permits. A developer may need a Physical Alteration Permit and/ or a Utility Permit from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation.

Note If the project requires a License to Construct and Alter Major Energy Facilities from the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board (Energy Facility Siting Board) to site, construct, or alter a high voltage transmission line of 69 kV or more, then the Energy Facility Siting Board may take on the issuance of any additional licenses or permits that the developer may need. Therefore, the state agency that typically would have jurisdiction to issue the permit would serve as an advisor to the Energy Facility Siting Board regarding approval. The Energy Facility Siting Board collects advisory opinions from the agencies that would normally issue those additional approvals to inform their decision but does not have to abide by them, per EFSA § 42-98-11(b). For more information, see:

Transmission Siting License to Construct and Alter Major Energy Facilities:
8-RI-a


More Information

Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.


Permitting at a Glance

Rhode Island Federal

State Land Right-of-Way: Any person may need approval from the state agency with jurisdiction over the land in question, such as the Coastal Resources Management Council prior to construction if the project crosses coastal land. If the person would otherwise need any additional permits, licenses, or variances from other agencies, those agencies must submit advisory opinions to the EFSA § 42-98-9(b), EFSA § 42-98-11(b).
State Land Right-of-Way Agency: State agency with jurisdiction, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council, Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board
State Highway Right-of-Way: Any person may need a Utility Permit to install a utility facility in a freeway right-of-way. R.I. Admin. Code §61-1-9:3.0 A utility facility is defined as “any privately, publicly, or cooperatively owned line, facility, or system for producing, transmitting, or distributing…power, electricity…which directly or indirectly serves the public…” R.I. Admin. Code §61-1-9:1.0. Any person, firm, corporation, utility company or agency may also need a Physical Alteration Permit to make any alteration to the state highway system. R.I. Admin. Code §61-1-15:4.0. If the person would otherwise need any additional permits, licenses, or variances from other agencies, those agencies must submit advisory opinions to the EFSA § 42-98-9(b), EFSA § 42-98-11(b).
State Highway Right-of-Way Agency: Rhode Island Department of Transportation, Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board
Eminent Domain: Public utilities may take land by eminent domain for public utility purposes. tit. 42 R.I. Gen Laws § 64-12. Prior to exercising eminent domain, the public utility must request permission from the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission. tit. 39 R.I. Gen Laws § 1-31.