American Transmission Co.

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Q&A: ATC-AEPCO team up under new ATC Southwest partnership

ATC Development Co., a branch of American Transmission Co., has a new partner in the southwestern U.S. ATC has entered into a joint operating agreement with Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) to develop needed transmission projects in Arizona and throughout the Southwest.

The unique partnership, called ATC Southwest™, will benefit electric cooperatives and people who live in the region by developing options  to help address the demand for an affordable and reliable transmission system.

The partnership is more than five years in the making. Laurie Dunham, manager, business development, played a key role in facilitating a team of legal, finance, operations, compliance, planning and business development experts to meet the needs of both companies.

Dunham shared some insights regarding the new partnership:

Q: Why the southwestern U.S.?
Dunham: We see the Southwest as an area of growing opportunities. Population growth, a changing resource mix including solar and other renewables, and an evolving regulatory atmosphere all make it a rich environment for ATC Southwest to grow.

Q: What’s next?
Dunham: The next steps are already in progress. ATC Southwest™ has engineering studies underway to identify transmission solutions that address economic needs in the Southwest.

Q: How does this new partnership fit with ATC’s long-term goals?
Dunham: This is an affirmation of the extensive work we have been doing to form key relationships, and it is the next step in cultivating us as the premier energy partner in the United States.

Bucks’ success means 200+ trees for Wisconsin through ATC partnership

An exciting new partnership between American Transmission Co. and the Milwaukee Bucks has already scored 201 trees for Wisconsin communities, with more to come. The program, called Trees for Threes, sponsors the planting of a new tree in Wisconsin for every three-pointer the Bucks make at home this season.

 
After last night’s game, the Bucks have played 23 regular season home games and scored 201 three-pointers in the process. With 18 home games to go in the regular season, the Bucks on track to surpass the 220 three-pointers the team scored last season.

 
ATC and the Bucks will identify Wisconsin schools and community partners to participate in the tree plantings. The Trees for Threes initiative aligns with ATC’s Grow Smart® program, which helps property owners and communities identify low-growing, compatible vegetation that can be planted the smart way – a safe distance from transmission line rights-of-way.

 
You can keep up with our tree tracker on Twitter by following #TreesForThrees. You can also visit bucks.com/trees.

Excavator safety training underway

MILWAUKEE, Wis.— Construction crews throughout Wisconsin and Michigan are learning the latest laws and best practices for staying safe when digging near utilities.

American Transmission Co. helps sponsor excavator safety meetings hosted by Diggers Hotline and Miss Dig each year between January and April.

During the meetings, business owners, construction workers and municipal employees enjoy a meal while speakers explain the steps they must take before breaking ground on any project to avoid hitting underground gas, electric, fiber optic and private facilities. Speakers also cover how to locate an underground utility and what to do in an emergency.

In 2016, more than 5,000 contractors attended the meetings.

The meetings began earlier this month, with 37 scheduled for the year. Check out the photos below from today’s excavator safety breakfast in Milwaukee.

 

Remember, always call 811 before you dig. If you’re working near an ATC underground transmission line, you must have an ATC representative on site.

New drone images: Substation progress

PEWAUKEE, Wis. — American Transmission Co. is reinforcing the electrical transmission grid in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and northeastern Wisconsin to address generation changes, changes in demand and reliability concerns.

The project includes work at several substations in Wisconsin. Check out the drone pictures below to see expansions at the North Appleton and Morgan substations, as well as new construction on the Benson Lake Substation in Marinette County.

Construction kicks off for Creekview Interconnection Project

It may be winter, but just south of the Village of Eden, Wis., there’s a flurry of activity going on. Trees are being removed. Construction mats have been laid. Trucks are in the transmission line right-of-way. All of these activities are necessary for crews to get access to the right-of-way and make way for the new transmission line and substation called the Creekview Interconnection Project.

Several years ago, this rural landscape took a turn. The population grew, ever so slightly – and people began using more electricity. Planning engineers at ATC and We Energies noticed.

“The area’s electric transmission system is vulnerable to low voltages and power outages,” said ATC Project Manager, Barbara Mikolajczyk. “This project also will provide system redundancy and allow for maintenance outages when repairs are needed.”

What does that mean, exactly? Basically, the existing infrastructure can no longer adequately support the lower-voltage distribution system in the area. We Energies came up with a solution for this issue by proposing a new substation in the area to support the electric system’s reliability. To complement that, the existing electric infrastructure needs to be built to support that substation.
ATC submitted its plans for this new substation and transmission line to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in February 2015 and by fall of that same year, ATC and WE Energies had gained approval for the project. The project includes a 138,000-volt transmission line, which will provide service to the new We Energies substation. The transmission line will run from the substation east and then connect north for 9.3 miles along an existing 345-kV line.

Crew members from Henkels & McCoy continue to clear vegetation from the right-of-way to make room for the Creekview Interconnection Project’s new 138,000-volt line.

So what should residents expect to see in the coming months?

  • In order to make room for the crews and their equipment, vegetation management work is needed – which is the first phase of construction for most ATC projects. Vegetation management in this region initiated in September and will continue through February 2017.
  • ATC’s contractor, Henkels & McCoy, is placing large construction mats in the right-of-way to protect the ground underneath from heavy equipment that will continue to access the right-of-way throughout the winter months. Crews will move the mats from their northern locations in the project to the southern locations as the work progresses.
  • The new substation will occupy a parcel approximately 425′ by 425′ located on the north side of CTH F, east of Greenway Road. That work will initiate in April 2017 and poles in the region will be erected around that same time.

Overall work on the transmission line infrastructure will continue with an in-service goal date of October 2017.

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