Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, ATC Development Co. form ATC Southwest to jointly develop transmission projects in Arizona and southwestern U.S.
BENSON, Arizona – Arizona Electric Power Cooperative (AEPCO) and ATC Development Co., a development branch of Wisconsin-based American Transmission Co. (ATC), have entered into a joint operating agreement to develop needed transmission projects in Arizona and the southwestern United States. The unique partnership is embodied in a new transmission company under the banner of ATC Southwest. www.ATCSouthwest.com
ATC Southwest will benefit electric cooperative members and electric consumers in the Southwest by developing options to help address the demand for an affordable, reliable transmission system.
“Arizona and the Southwest are growing, and we’re already seeing increased demand for power that can only be met if we’re willing to step up and develop the transmission projects that will meet that demand over the next two decades and beyond,” said Patrick Ledger, AEPCO chief executive officer.
“This partnership means both companies can draw on our mutual resources to meet that demand in a way that keeps rates low and reliability high,” Ledger said.
“We are pleased to be partnering with AEPCO and its family of cooperative utilities to address transmission development needs in the region,” said Mike Rowe, president and chief executive officer of ATC Development Co. “We have significant experience working with public power in the Midwest, and we look forward to partnering with public power in the Southwest. ATC Southwest will be adding value through identifying and implementing transmission solutions that deliver reliability, economic and renewable energy benefits in the southwestern United States.”
Both companies bring complementary strengths and experience to this mutually beneficial joint venture. AEPCO, a not-for-profit, member-owned generation and transmission cooperative based in Benson, Arizona, has more than five decades of engineering, constructing, maintaining and operating generation and transmission systems in Arizona. AEPCO’s core business is providing for the low-cost energy needs of rural members and other customers. Additionally, AEPCO has many established relationships with energy providers throughout the southwestern United States that can facilitate future transmission development.
ATC started operations in 2001 as the nation’s first multi-state, transmission-only utility. It provides transmission service to 26 utilities, including 22 cooperative and municipal utilities. ATC is an established and premier leader in transmission development having invested more than $4.1 billion to improve the adequacy and reliability of the transmission infrastructure in the Upper Midwest. ATC’s cost controls, purchasing and benchmarking strategies result in construction cost estimate accuracy that consistently beats the industry average. ATC Development Co. plans to leverage these strengths through the ATC Southwest partnership with AEPCO.
Arizona Electric Power Cooperative and Sierra Southwest collectively make up Arizona G&T Cooperatives. AEPCO owns and operates the 605-megawatt (combined gross) Apache Generating Station, located at Cochise, east of Benson. AEPCO also owns and maintains more than 620 miles of transmission lines and 26 substations to provide wholesale electric power from Apache to six member distribution cooperatives in southern Arizona, western New Mexico, northwestern Arizona and California.
Combined, the distribution cooperatives that receive AEPCO’s wholesale power serve more than 150,000 meters representing more than 400,000 individual residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial member/consumers.
The Class A member cooperatives that receive wholesale power from AEPCO include Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Willcox; Duncan Valley Electric Cooperative, Duncan; Graham County Electric Cooperative, Pima; Trico Electric Cooperative, Marana; Mohave Electric Cooperative; Bullhead City; and Anza Electric Cooperative, Anza, California.
These member cooperatives own the AzGT and, by extension, the G&T Cooperatives are owned by their members—the people at the end of the line who use the power. AEPCO and several of its cooperative members borrow from the Rural Utilities Service, a federal agency.
About ATC Development Co.
ATC Development Co. is the development branch formed by certain owners of American Transmission Co. (ATC) to pursue development outside of ATC’s traditional footprint. ATC is a Wisconsin-based utility 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 $4.1 billion to improve the adequacy and reliability of the transmission infrastructure in the Upper Midwest. ATC now owns and operates $4.4 billion in assets, including more than 9,540 miles of transmission lines and 548 substations. Of ATC’s ownership, 12 percent is owned by municipal and cooperative utilities, and 88 percent is owned by investor-owned utilities. www.atcllc.com
Program advocates electric reliability by promoting plantings outside the right-of-way
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. has awarded $50,000 collectively to 27 communities in its service area to plant trees and other vegetation through its Community Planting Program, which is part of ATC’s Grow Smart ® initiative. Vegetation funded through this program requires that communities plant tall-growing trees outside of high-voltage transmission line rights-of-way, helping to keep the electric transmission lines safe and reliable.
“We’re proud of the success of this program, which is now in its fourth year,” said Mark Davis, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “ATC is committed to maintaining a green environment and this program has awarded nearly $240,000 to more than 150 communities for planting projects. At ATC, we have a one-team approach and when communities partner with us for initiatives like the Community Planting Program, they become part of the team.”
Community recipients qualify for the program by committing to comply with ATC’s maintenance standards for all current and future planting plans and urban forestry activities near high-voltage electric transmission lines. The following Wisconsin communities received amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000 for planting projects on public property:
|De Pere||Grand Chute||Manitowoc County||Oconomowoc||Watertown|
ATC will accept applications for the 2017 Community Planting Program from June 1 through Sept. 30.
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – Michael R. Niggli and Robert Foster joined the board of directors of American Transmission Co. Both men have had executive careers in the energy field for more than 40 years.
Niggli is the retired president and chief operating officer of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Foster is the retired president of Southern California Edison.
Niggli spent 30 years in leadership positions with Sempra Energy and its subsidiaries, including positions as COO of Southern California Gas Co. and president of Sempra Generation. Prior to joining Sempra, he was chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president of Nevada Power Co. He held the same titles at Sierra Pacific Resources after the merger of those two companies. The combined companies served most of the state of Nevada with electric transmission, distribution and generation as well as serving the northwestern portion of the state with natural gas and water service.
Foster began his career with the California State Senate Energy Committee and advanced to division chief and deputy director of the California Energy Commission prior to joining Edison. He was at the forefront of energy efficiency and renewables, pioneering California’s energy standards for buildings in the 1970s and leading Edison back to financial health after the state’s energy crisis. After retiring, he served as chairman of the California Independent System Operator and also served two terms as mayor of Long Beach.
“These two men had distinguished careers serving energy customers in the western United States and will provide valuable insight to ATC leadership as we pursue our vision to become American’s premier energy delivery partner,” said ATC President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Rowe. “We welcome them to our board.”
ATC to seek regulatory approval in Wisconsin
Pewaukee, Wis. – American Transmission Co. on Dec. 20 received approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission for the southern portion of the Wisconsin-Illinois Electric Reliability Project.
The ICC approved ATC’s preferred route of the project and substation, with components that include constructing a double-circuit, 345,000-volt transmission line to connect to an existing line in southern Pleasant Prairie, Wis., and connecting that line to the ComEd transmission system in Illinois through a new substation on the north side of Rosecrans Road (Hwy. 173) in the Village of Wadsworth.
The approximate 3-mile transmission line addresses the potential risk of cascading outages under certain operating conditions, and also would accommodate the increasing power flows occurring from Wisconsin to Illinois.
ATC also is required to file an application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for the northern portion of the proposed transmission line. That filing is anticipated to be made in January 2017.
“Approval from the ICC on this project is a major step forward in providing a reliable, alternative power path in this region,” said Barbara Mikolajczyk, ATC project manager. “We will soon present our project to Wisconsin regulators and look forward to a similar decision from the PSC.”
The project is estimated to cost approximately $55 million. If approved, construction could begin as early as spring 2020 to meet a proposed in-service date later that same year. Additional information can be found on the ICC’s website and on the PSCW’s website.
American Transmission Co. employees are embracing a new spin on the traditional Secret Santa gift-giving game as a way to help brighten the holidays for Wisconsin children.
Instead of buying gifts for each other, employees in the legal and environmental departments bought toys inspired by their coworkers for children in need.
Here’s how it worked: each employee drew the name of a colleague. Then, the givers bought toys that reminded them of their randomly selected coworkers.
After the “exchange,” all toys were donated to Toys for Tots.
“It was a great way to learn more about each other, while helping the children in our community who might otherwise be forgotten this holiday season,” said Danna Treutelaar, legal executive assistant.
Check out some of the photos from the gift “exchange” below:
We’re proud to help serve our communities – it’s part of ATC’s culture and commitment to do our part.