Helicopter, air saw to be used along transmission line
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – A helicopter and heavy-duty air saw will be used this week and continue through mid-March to trim trees along two 345,000-volt lines from Stevens Point to Appleton, as well as along a 138-kV line in Wood and Juneau counties.
American Transmission Co. has contracted with Aerial Solutions, Inc. to manage vegetation growth along its transmission line corridors. This work will be accomplished using an aerial power saw with rotary blades that is suspended from a helicopter on a 90-foot vertical boom.
The aerial saw has been highly efficient when compared to the work of ground-based crews. “It takes just a few hours for an aerial saw to complete what typically takes ground crews several days to accomplish,” said Adam Helminiak, ATC senior vegetation management specialist. “However, the aerial work is weather-dependent and it could take up to several weeks for the saw to complete the vegetation maintenance along the transmission lines.”
Managing the growth of trees and other vegetation near high-voltage transmission lines is important to help ensure public safety and electric system reliability. ATC performs routine vegetation management on its 9,540 miles of transmission lines in five-year cycles.
Note to editors: Landowners in proximity to the transmission lines scheduled for this work have been notified of the work via mail. Maps indicating the planned aerial saw work can be found on our website. Work on section WERWL41 is scheduled first, followed by work on NAPL71 and X-43. Video footage of similar vegetation management work can be found on our YouTube page.
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. has been named one of the Best Workplaces for Giving Back for the second consecutive year by Great Place to Work and Fortune.
The national list is based on more than 350,000 surveys of employees across a range of industries, as well as their organizations’ charitable programs and giving.
“As a company, we care about the communities we serve, and our employees are generous with their time and money,” said ATC President and CEO Mike Rowe. “Last year, our employees logged almost 19,000 volunteer hours to help organizations that are important to them. They also have increased their pledges to United Way for seven consecutive years.” In addition, the company donated $690,000 to benefit more than 400 organizations providing important services to local communities last year.
Great Place to Work’s research found that employees who are strongly connected to their organization’s positive influence on the community have 4 to 11 times the productivity, commitment, brand ambassadorship and overall work experience as their peers. As a result, people at winning workplaces report more pride in their employers and experience deeper meaning in their day-to-day work.
“The Best Workplaces for Giving Back are accomplishing something greater than the sum of their contributions to worthy causes. They also offer employees a sense they’re part of something bigger that’s making a difference in the world,” said Chinwe Onyeagoro, president of Great Place to Work.
The Best Workplaces for Giving Back is one of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work and Fortune based on employee survey feedback from Great Place to Work–Certified™ organizations.
ATC also ranked on the 2016 lists for Best Medium Workplaces and Best Workplaces to Retire From by Great Place to Work and Fortune. Click here for ATC’s company profile.
About Great Place to Work
Great Place to Work is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, including Best Workplaces lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work provides the benchmarks, framework and expertise needed to create, sustain and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. In the United States, Great Place to Work produces the annual Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For®” and a series of Great Place to Work Best Workplaces lists, including lists for Millennials, Women, Diversity, Small and Medium Companies and over a half dozen different industries.
Follow Great Place to Work online at www.greatplacetowork.com and on Twitter at @GPTW_US. When sharing on social media about the 2017 Best Workplaces for Giving Back, please use the hashtag: #bestworkplaces.
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.”