System build out slows while maintenance, repair ramp up
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – The next 10 years call for continued investment in the American Transmission Co. electric grid, assuring continued electric reliability and increased access to economic energy for its electric distribution utility customers.
The 2015 10-Year Transmission System Assessment calls for an investment of $3.7 billion to $4.5 billion in the grid that serves eastern Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and portions of Illinois and Minnesota. ATC has identified the need for $1.4 billion in network projects, $0.5 billion in regional Multi-Value Projects identified by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, $1.4 billion in asset maintenance and a range from $0.4 billion to $1.2 billion in other capital improvements.
The report, which is available online at www.atc10yearplan.com, notes that the investment made in transmission infrastructure to date has effectively and economically improved reliability while being responsive to the changing ways in which the grid is being used to realize opportunities provided by the marketplace. Reliability is best-in-class in several industry benchmarking studies of performance with other transmission operators.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Railbelt utilities have jointly submitted a letter to the Regulatory Commission of Alaska summarizing progress on their voluntary efforts to evaluate a business model whereby the operation, maintenance and upgrades of the Railbelt transmission network are accomplished by a transmission company to enhance the reliable delivery of electric power to Railbelt customers.
Joining the Railbelt utilities is American Transmission Co., a Wisconsin-based transmission-only utility formed through a similar effort in 2001 in the Midwest. ATC’s start-up and operational experience have been the starting point for discussions among the Railbelt utilities to determine the necessary steps in forming a transmission-only utility.
Recent discussions about possible development of a Railbelt transmission company stem from recommendations by the Alaska Legislature and the RCA over the past two years.
The Railbelt utilities’ report to the RCA can be found at:
The utilities will provide an additional update to the RCA by year-end.
Anchorage Municipal Light & Power (ML&P) – Julie Harris – HarrisJA@muni.org, 907-263-5423
Chugach Electric Association, Inc. (Chugach) – Phil Steyer, email@example.com, 907-762-4766
Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) – Corinne Bradish, firstname.lastname@example.org, 907-451-5676
Homer Electric Association, Inc. (HEA) – Joe Gallagher, email@example.com, 907-283-2324
Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) – Julie Estey, firstname.lastname@example.org, 907-761-9215
City of Seward Electric System (SES) – Johanna Kinney, email@example.com, 907-224-4045
American Transmission Co. (ATC) — Anne Spaltholz, firstname.lastname@example.org, 877-506-6117
Anchorage Municipal Light & Power – ML&P provides electric utility service to commercial, university and medical customers in the downtown and midtown business districts as well as industrial loads in the Ship Creek and port areas. In addition, it serves residential customers in some of Anchorage’s oldest neighborhoods in its roughly 20-square-mile area. ML&P powers Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and sells electricity to other Railbelt utilities. www.mlandp.com
Chugach Electric Association, Inc. – Chugach provides power to Railbelt Alaskans through retail, wholesale and economy energy sales. Chugach operates 2,238 miles of energized line, including 539 miles of transmission lines. www.chugachelectric.com
Golden Valley Electric Association — GVEA operates and maintains 3,202 miles of transmission and distribution lines and 34 substations in Interior Alaska. Its system is interconnected with Fort Wainwright, Eielson AFB, Fort Greely, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and all electric utilities in the Alaska Railbelt, which extends from Homer, Alaska to Fairbanks. Peak load in 2014 was 201.6 megawatts. System peak of 223 MW was set in December 2007. www.gvea.com
Homer Electric Association, Inc. — HEA is a member-owned electric cooperative that serves the western Kenai Peninsula. The 3,166-square-mile service territory includes the communities of Sterling, Soldotna, Kenai, Nikiski, Homer, and also the south side of Kachemak Bay from Halibut Cove to Nanwalek. The cooperative has over 33,000 meters on its system and maintains 2,407 miles of energized lines. HEA owns and operates three generation plants on the Kenai Peninsula. For more information, visit www.homerelectric.com.
Matanuska Electric Association – MEA is a member-owned cooperative that serves the Matanuska/Susitna and Eagle River/Chugiak areas. MEA serves over 61,000 meters through more than 4,200 miles of power lines. It was formed in 1941 and is Alaska’s oldest and second-largest electric co-op. www.mea.coop
City of Seward Electric System – City of Seward runs its own electric utility and purchases power from Chugach Electric Association and has backup generation capabilities. www.cityofseward.us
American Transmission Co. – ATC is a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates the electric transmission system in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Formed in 2001 as the nation’s first multi-state transmission-only utility, ATC has invested $3.5 billion to improve the adequacy and reliability of its infrastructure. ATC now owns and operates $3.8 billion in assets, including more than 9,530 miles of transmission lines and 530 substations. 12% of ATC’s ownership is munis and co-ops, and 88% is investor-owned utilities. The company is a member of the MISO regional transmission organization, and provides nondiscriminatory service to all customers, supporting effective competition in energy without favoring any market participant. www.atcllc.com
McNamara, Dolan and Winters assume new roles
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – John McNamara, Andy Dolan and Jared Winters have been promoted to senior positions within American Transmission Co.
McNamara is now vice president of asset management, responsible for transmission asset performance, maintenance and design. McNamara has been with ATC since its inception, when he began serving as the manager of project management prior to the company’s start of operations on Jan. 1, 2001. Before joining ATC, he worked in the nuclear power department of Wisconsin Electric (now We Energies) for 15 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois and a master’s of business administration from UW-Milwaukee.
Dolan assumes the newly created position of director of reliability planning. In this capacity, he will provide oversight to the development of the transmission system to ensure the use of appropriate transmission methodologies and technologies, creating an overall planning and service strategy. Dolan joined ATC in 2001 as assistant manager of maintenance and was promoted to manager of asset planning and engineering in 2005. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Marquette University.
Winters will assume duties as director of construction for projects in ATC’s western portfolio, based in Madison. He joined ATC in 2001 as a system protection engineer after working for several years as an engineering consultant in Madison. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UW-Platteville and earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from UW-Madison.
All three men are registered professional engineers in Wisconsin.
Applications accepted now through Sept. 30
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. this month began accepting applications for their community planting program, now in its third year. The program is part of Grow Smart, which supports tree and vegetation planting in municipalities in ATC’s service area. Eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes may apply for financial support for planting projects on public property within their community. Since the program’s inception, ATC has awarded nearly $130,000 to 94 eligible municipalities and counties within its service area.
To qualify, communities must commit that all current and future planting plans and urban forestry activities near high-voltage electric transmission lines will comply with ATC’s maintenance standards. “By applying for the community planting program, communities across our service territory have an opportunity to beautify their communities and plant trees outside of the electric transmission system right-of-way. This program helps communities understand that trees and transmission lines are an unsafe combination,” said ATC Environmental and Local Relations Manager Greg Levesque. “Keeping trees out of the right-of-way also keeps the public safe and the transmission system reliable.”
ATC is accepting applications through Sept. 30, and award recipients will be selected and announced by the end of the year. ATC will accept one application per community, and awards range from $100 to $5,000.
Additional information, including a brochure and eligibility information, is available on ATC’s Grow Smart website: atc-GrowSmart.com.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Top Workplaces list names 150 best area employers
PEWAUKEE, WIS. — American Transmission Co. has been selected as one of the 2015 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Top Workplaces in southeastern Wisconsin. The top workplaces are determined based on feedback from an employee survey conducted by WorkplaceDynamics, LLP, an organizational health and employee engagement research firm. This is the sixth year the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has published the list of top area workplaces, and this is the third time ATC has been named to the list. This year, ATC is number 4 on the list of midsize companies, up from its number 12 position last year.
ATC has 382 employees at its headquarters in Pewaukee, Wis. More than 80 percent of employees responded to the workplace survey in fall 2014, which asked about ATC’s corporate values, leadership and culture, as well as employees’ job satisfaction and overall feelings about working at the company.
“I’m very pleased to see that ATC employees have such a high regard for our workplace,” said ATC President and CEO Mike Rowe. “Being recognized as a Top Workplace is an honor, especially because it is our employees who are the judges.”
Last fall, ATC also ranked among the nation’s top-25 medium-sized Great Places to Work as published in FORTUNE magazine. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will publish its complete list of top workplaces this weekend.