In 2002, Consumers Energy spun off its transmission subsidiary, Michigan Electric Transmission Company (“METC”), to Trans-Elect, an independent electric transmission company with 5,400 miles of corridor. NSI served as the strategic advisor to Trans-Elect on all the real estate aspects of the acquisition. This included contract negotiations, due diligence, and closing procedures. Once the Trans-Elect assumed ownership of METC, NSI supervised and transitioned the management of the real estate assets from Consumers’ control to that of the Trans-Elect. This required NSI, on behalf of METC’s management team, to create and establish new real estate operation workflows and procedures for the management of those real estate assets acquired. Once this transition was completed, METC retained NSI to manage its real estate function on a full-time outsourced basis.

This function, which continues to be performed today for a subsequent buyer, includes managing encroachments, acquiring new corridor rights, managing existing rights-of-way, managing tree trimming rights, landowner and public relations, and records management. To manage the over 20,000 real estate records associated with METC’s corridor system more efficiently, NSI performed the imaging and indexing of METC’s paper records and maps and created a web-based digital database to provide more convenient access to these records for NSI and METC’s staff.

Metal Tower With Wires
METCTrans Elect

As a result of NSI’s efforts, METC is in full control of its right-of-way assets without having to hire full-time in-house employees directly. In addition, since METC’s workload is in constant flux, NSI can provide experienced utility professionals, beyond NSI’s dedicated staff, on an as-needed hourly cost basis to work on special projects and short-term assignments. Therefore, NSI provides METC with great flexibility in meeting the peak demands of its workload without incurring ongoing overhead costs. Lastly, METC enjoys the time-saving benefits of a modernized real estate records management system.

In executing the work described above, NSI recruited and trained dozens of real estate professionals to effectively carry out the various assignments. Many of these people were participating attorneys experienced in real estate matters or real estate executives trained by NSI for their functions. Also included among the list of NSI’s negotiators were many architects, engineers, and real estate professionals with special expertise. NSI trained all to be skilled real estate negotiators to perform the complex work required of NSI from its institutional and corporate clients.