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What is a Right of Way?

A right of way is a type of easement or agreement that grants a utility the right to use, access or transit a piece of property. An easement is typically granted by property owners to an electric utility for the purpose of constructing and maintaining power lines and other equipment. Before a power line is built Duke Energy acquires easements from property owners along the selected route.

Duke Energy maintains nearly 50,000 miles of lines, including 30,000 miles of overhead transmission and distribution lines. We have obtained easements and agreements with local communities and property owners that allow us to build and maintain our power lines. This right includes managing vegetation, including trees on or outside the easement, which pose a threat to the reliability of the electric system.

Trees are part of Florida’s natural beauty, but trees and other vegetation are also one of the leading causes of outages for utilities in the Southeast. We must constantly work to balance aesthetic concerns with our responsibility to provide a reliable electric system for the more than 1.6 million households and businesses that depend on us.

Rights of way and other easements vary in size and have different usage and maintenance guidelines, based on the voltage and type of line.