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Electric power transmission has become central to policies relating to energy security, reliability, market access, capacity and grid resilience.

Transmission owners, operators and developers are responding with programs and projects to address each of these considerations, and as they respond, they are often shifting and reprioritizing in a dynamic environment. Few industries have witnessed such flux. We have found it essential to understand and learn about our clients’ needs and priorities, adapt our services, and transfer learning and capabilities throughout SWCA. We have earned a reputation as a reliable and responsive team member who will provide quality work, and can scale to virtually any size transmission project or program. We get involved in every phase of the project, from the preliminary environmental analysis to long-term monitoring after project completion.

SWCA’s transmission practice supports many of the largest electric utilities, transmission developers, and operators in the country. We have completed projects under on-call contracts, and supported and managed complex and large-scale programs, often as owner’s representative. We are experienced with projects at all levels of transmission and distribution voltage, and in almost any physiographic setting. Our teams complete challenging intra-state projects as well as larger multi-state projects. Our project managers are proven and recognized for their strategic thinking and proactive approach.

Association Involvement

• WIRES Group

Relevant Services

Project Types We Support

  • Capacity
  • Safety and Reliability
  • Design Compliance
  • Emergency Response
  • Interconnections and Tie-lines
  • New Construction: Green Field, Re-build, Upgrade


    Programs We Help Implement and Manage

  • NERC and Other Grid Compliance
  • Pole Replacement
  • Vegetation Management
  • On-call Services, including Rapid Response and Emergency Services
  • Owner’s Environmental Representative for Large-scale Programs and Projects


    Licensing, Permitting, and Decision Documents

  • Environmental Impact Statements (EIS)
  • Federal Use Permits and Plans of Development
  • State Public Utility Commission License and Permits Applications and Corresponding Environmental Assessments
  • Federal, State, and Local Resources Permit Packages and Supporting Documentation
  • Supporting Technical Studies and Reports
  • Constraints, Routing, and Siting Studies and Corresponding Permit Requirements Analyses and Strategies


    Corresponding Services We Provide

  • Project Management and Staff Augmentation
  • Natural Resources Services
  • Cultural Resources Studies
  • Environmental Reporting
  • Agency Consultations
  • Planning and Land Use Studies 
  • GIS Analytics and Mapping
  • Construction Environmental Compliance Management Plans, Training and Staffing

Meet The Experts

Steve Stielstra, Transmission Lead
Team Lead

Steve Stielstra

Steve is a proven leader, providing siting, routing, feasibility, and permitting expertise for major transmission lines and other linear projects nationwide. He brings more than 30 years experience to every project and demonstrates how quality front-end planning results in successful outcomes.

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David Brown SWCA
West / Rocky Mountains

David Brown

David has 15 years of experience in environmental consulting throughout the western United States, specializing in transmission line planning, siting, permitting, and compliance.

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Kely Mertz SWCA

Kely Mertz

Kely is a senior biologist with experience navigating regulatory compliance, HCPs, and environmental policy issues for projects in the midwestern, central, east, and northeastern U.S.

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Megan Peterson SWCA
California / Pacific

Megan Peterson

Megan has 20 years experience in environmental program management for large-scale energy projects, NEPA and CEQA compliance, EAs, and FERC Environmental Reports.

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Cara Bellavia | Vice President of Scientific and Technical Services
West / Southwest

Cara Bellavia

Cara has more than 15 years experience in environmental consulting, including social and economic impact analysis, NEPA compliance, and cultural resource management.

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Relevant Case Studies

Take the Next Step

Request more information about our transmission capabilities.

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