American Transmission Co.

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News

Update: Transmission system restoration in southwest Wisconsin

June 29, 4:55 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. –   Crews are continuing restoration work on two 69-kilovolt lines that were damaged during June 28 storms in southwest Wisconsin.

Restoration efforts are ongoing in the Village of Livingston and an area south of Cobb.

There is a transmission-related power outage in Livingston. Because distribution wires are attached to the poles that are down, restoration is taking longer than usual. The estimated return to service for Alliant Energy customers is Friday, June 30. There are no other transmission outages that are causing power outages for electric customers.

ATC expects to complete restoration work by Saturday.

We are committed to restoring power as soon as possible and working in a safe manner.

If you are in any of these areas, please stay away from downed lines and pay attention to road conditions and closures.

 

 

 

Update: Transmission system restoration and outages in southwest Wisconsin

June 29, 9:30 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. –   Approximately 70 transmission poles along three 69-kilovolt lines were knocked down during June 28 storms in southwest Wisconsin.

Significant cleanup and restoration efforts are ongoing in the Village of Livingston area and south of Cobb, with some road closures reported due to downed lines.

We are committed to restoring power as soon as possible and working in a safe manner. Restoration efforts are underway.

If you are in any of these areas, please stay away from downed lines and pay attention to road conditions and closures.

American Transmission Co. unveils groundbreaking new method for transmission line construction

Solo-Driver™ offers a faster, greener and more cost-effective option for foundation installation using vibratory technology

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. has developed a new method for installing transmission structure foundations that is faster, safer, more economical and  more environmentally friendly than traditional installation methods. Solo-Driver™ is ATC’s new, patent-pending method for installing foundations using a vibratory hammer. 

To date, the utility industry has largely relied on two methods for installing transmission structures when a concrete base is not needed: direct bury and traditional vibratory installation. With Solo-Driver, now there is a third choice. 

Solo-Driver is the first method of its kind to employ a single excavator equipped with a vibratory hammer for foundation installation. For this method, caisson foundations have been modified to include side tabs that the vibratory hammer grasps. Using the tabs, the hammer lifts the foundation from where it is pre-positioned horizontally on the ground, rotates it vertically into position, and vibrates it into the ground to the required depth. 

“This new method is a game changer in transmission line construction,” says ATC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Davis. “Solo-Driver is just one part of ATC’s commitment to excellence in transmission planning, construction and innovation, and we are excited to announce this new technology and share it with our transmission partners.”

Solo-Driver provides significant cost savings over traditional installation methods due to reduced labor costs, reduced equipment costs and increased efficiency. It has been shown to cut costs by as much as half in optimal conditions. The chart below compares Solo-Driver to traditional methods.

MethodAverage installation timeInstallations per dayCrew size
Direct bury150 min/structure45
Traditional vibratory75 min/foundation85
Solo-Driver™30 min/foundation182-3

 

Solo-Driver is safer than other methods. Traditional vibratory and direct bury installation methods require crews to manually position the foundation using one or more cranes and guiding cables. With Solo-Driver, the excavator and vibratory hammer maneuver the caisson, and safety interlock jaws on the hammer prevent it from dropping the caisson during installation, even if power is temporarily lost.

Solo-Driver has fewer environmental and landowner impacts than other methods. It requires significantly less equipment, which means less weight, resulting in minimal ground disturbance. It is also much quieter compared to other methods and requires just half of the overhead clearance of traditional methods.

To learn more about Solo-Driver and watch a video demonstration of the new method, visit atcllc.com/solo-driver.

ATC continues funding through the Community Planting Program for planting projects

New this year, communities can apply for pollinator-specific projects

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. will begin accepting applications on June 1 for its Community Planting Program, which provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes in ATC’s service area for planting projects on public property.

Now in its fifth year, the program helps communities where ATC transmission facilities exist. Since its inception, ATC has awarded nearly $240,000 to more than 150 eligible municipalities and counties.

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.

Recipients can use the program funding to plant trees and other tall-growing vegetation outside the transmission line rights-of-way. New to the program in 2017 is a pollinator-specific planting component. Funding also will be considered for communities who commit to planting low-growing, compatible vegetation such as those suggested on ATC’s Grow Smart pollinator guide. The pollinator-attracting vegetation can be a seed mix, plants, plugs or a combination thereof.

“Applying for funding through the Community Planting Program gives communities across our service area an opportunity to beautify their public space,” said ATC’s Chief Operating Office, Mark Davis. “It’s important to plant trees and tall-growing vegetation outside the right-of-way. Since we also know that pollinators are in decline due to loss of habitat, this program now offers a great opportunity to restore that habitat by planting low-growing species that attracts pollinators.”

ATC will accept applications through Sept. 30, and award recipients will be selected and notified by the end of the year. ATC will accept one application per community, and the awards range from $100 to $5,000.

The Community Planting Program is part of the Grow Smart initiative, which is directed toward individual landowners and advocates planting low-growing, compatible vegetation in transmission line rights-of-way. Additional information about ATC’s own pollinator planting initiatives, the Community Planting Program application and eligibility criteria are available on ATC’s Grow Smart website at atc-GrowSmart.com.

Grow Smart® project attracting bees, butterflies and other pollinators to Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary

Seeding project takes place on May 9 in right-of-way alongside sanctuary                       

PEWAUKEE, WIS. – Phase two of American Transmission Co.’s Grow Smart® initiative to attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators in the right-of-way that borders Green Bay’s Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary property takes place on May 9. The right-of-way is located under and along high voltage transmission lines on the northern border of I-43; west of Danz Avenue. and east of Irwin Street.

The first phase of this pollinator project began in 2015, when ATC vegetation management contractors used vegetation mowers to control the invasive species, such as buckthorn, from approximately six acres of the right-of-way. The following year, herbicides were selectively applied to the remaining invasive species within that acreage. On May 9, ATC’s environmental contractor, Cardno, will use equipment to broadcast a pollinator seed mix over two and one-half acres of the right-of-way in an effort to establish pollinator habitat. Earlier this year, ATC established a partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for this project. As part of the agreement, the USFWS will supply the seed mix for the project.

“ATC’s Grow Smart® program offers suggestions for low-growing, compatible vegetation to plant in the right-of-way,” explained Gregory Levesque, director of environmental and local relations. “As an electric utility, we are uniquely positioned to establish our rights-of-way as suitable habitat to help pollinator species that we know are in decline. This project is one of many that ATC is initiating to revitalize our rights-of-way, by adjusting our seed mixes to include low-growing vegetation that attracts pollinators – such as those we promote in our Grow Smart® program. We are committed to helping our environment and pleased to be partnering with the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for this project.”

“We applaud ATC for this effort,” said Wildlife Sanctuary Executive Director Mike Reed. “They removed buckthorn and other invasive species from the land and are now replacing it with much-needed vegetation for pollinators. It fits in with the educational mission of the Sanctuary and lets people know that they, too, can plant vegetation that is beneficial for wildlife.”

ATC representatives and the Sanctuary Director will monitor the project throughout the growing season to evaluate and measure results. “By next year at this time, the data should provide us with a comprehensive picture of what plantings work well for that particular area, and what could be improved,” stated Levesque. “We’ll continue to maintain the vegetation at this site through our vegetation management program and volunteer activities.”

Anyone who would like to learn more about planting for pollinators can visit ATC’s Grow Smart® website: www.atc-GrowSmart.com. A free pollinator planting guide is available for download at the site.

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