When any person, as defined in ORS 758.400 (Definitions for ORS 758.015 and 758.400 to 758.475), providing electric utility service, as defined in ORS 758.400 (Definitions for ORS 758.015 and 758.400 to 758.475), or any transmission company, proposes to construct an overhead transmission line which will necessitate a condemnation of land or an interest therein, it shall petition the Public Utility Commission for a certificate of public convenience and necessity setting forth a detailed description and the purpose of the proposed transmission line, the estimated cost, the route to be followed, the availability of alternate routes, a description of other transmission lines connecting the same areas, and such other information in such form as the commission may reasonably require in determining the public convenience and necessity.
The commission shall give notice and hold a public hearing on such petition. The commission, in addition to considering facts presented at such hearing, shall make the commission’s own investigation to determine the necessity, safety, practicability and justification in the public interest for the proposed transmission line and shall enter an order accordingly. Except for petitions for a proposed transmission line for which the petitioner also seeks approval from the Energy Facility Siting Council for the same transmission line, the order shall be subject to review as in other cases. Orders on petitions for a proposed transmission line for which the petitioner also seeks approval from the Energy Facility Siting Council for the same transmission line are subject to judicial review in the same manner as an order in a contested case as set forth in ORS 758.017 (Appeal of grant or denial of certificate of public convenience and necessity for transmission lines subject to Energy Facility Siting Council approval). In any proceeding for condemnation, a certified copy of such order shall be conclusive evidence that the transmission line for which the land is required is a public use and necessary for public convenience.
This section shall not apply to construction of transmission lines in connection with a project for which a permit or license is otherwise obtained pursuant to state or federal law.
As used in this section and ORS 758.020 (Joint occupancy of poles), “transmission company” means a person or entity that owns or operates high voltage transmission lines and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “Transmission company” does not include a cooperative organized under ORS chapter 62. [1961 c.691 §19; 2001 c.913 §6; 2013 c.335 §1]