American Transmission Co.

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PSC approves Spring Valley-North Lake Geneva project

Spring Valley-North Lake Geneva Electric Reliability Project expected to be in-service summer 2019

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin today approved a new transmission line project between the Town of Salem and the City of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. At an open meeting, the commissioners confirmed the need for the Spring Valley-North Lake Geneva Electric Reliability Project and approved Proposed Route 1, the blue route, submitted by ATC in its application filed in April 2015.

“With input from the public, our project team evaluated more than 200 miles of route segments during the routing and siting process,” said Doug Berton, ATC project manager. “That thorough review led to a project and decision by the PSC that will provide a significant improvement in the electric reliability of the transmission system that serves the area and supports the economic growth that’s been increasing over the last several years.”

The project was announced in early 2013 and includes a new substation, called Balsam, located on the north side of County Highway 50 in the Town of Wheatland, and a new approximately 23-mile, 138,000-volt transmission line from the existing North Lake Geneva Substation in southern Walworth County to the existing Spring Valley Substation in western Kenosha County. An additional approximately 4-mile, 69-kV transmission line will be built to connect the new Balsam Substation to the existing Twin Lakes Substation in Twin Lakes.

“We will continue to work with landowners and communities as we move into the pre-construction phase of the project,” said Berton.

The project is estimated to cost $70.6 million. The PSC’s final order for the project is anticipated to be issued within the month. Construction is projected to begin in summer 2017, with an in-service date of summer 2019.

American Transmission Co. proposes electric reliability project for southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois

Residents can provide input on new power line and substation at March 16 public open house

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. is proposing a project to address an electric reliability issue that occurs when there are high power flows on the transmission system from Wisconsin into Illinois. The proposed Wisconsin-Illinois Reliability Project would provide a reliable, alternative power path to address emergency conditions and accommodate increased power flows. The project components include: constructing a double-circuit 345-kilovolt transmission line to connect to an existing line near Pleasant Prairie, Wis., and connecting that line to the ComEd transmission system through a proposed substation area on the north side of Rosecrans Road (Hwy. 173) in the village of Wadsworth, Ill.

ATC will host a public open house from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, at the Thunderhawk Golf Club, 39700 N. Lewis Ave., Beach Park, Ill. The open house gives local residents and other stakeholders the opportunity to learn about the proposed project and substation location, and to provide feedback about the project. This open house will be the first of three public open houses; subsequent meetings will be held in Illinois later this spring.

“The existing transmission lines between Wisconsin and Illinois are designed to transport a limited amount of power, but the amount of electricity moving between the two states has increased significantly in the last five years,” said Barbara Mikolajczyk, ATC major project manager. “When those lines become heavily loaded, there’s a substantial risk for widespread, cascading outages. This project would alleviate that risk by providing increased reliability for this area.”

The transmission line could range from three to five miles in length, and depending on the route selected is estimated to cost between $52 million to $63 million. Regulatory applications will be submitted to the Illinois Commerce Commission in mid-2016 and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in fall 2016. A decision from each of the regulatory agencies is expected in early 2017 and fall 2017, respectively.

More information including a project map can be found on the project web page at

Aerial tree trimming planned for eastern Wisconsin

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – A helicopter and heavy-duty air saw will be used beginning this week to trim trees along two 345-kilovolt and 138-kV transmission lines, from Germantown to Mishicot, Wis.

American Transmission Co. has contracted with Aerial Solutions, Inc. to manage vegetation growth along its transmission line corridors. The helicopters used by Aerial Solutions are equipped with heavy-duty air saws with rotary blades suspended on a 90- to 100-foot vertical boom.

When compared to the work of ground-based crews, the aerial saw has been highly efficient. “Typically it takes ground crews several days to accomplish what an aerial saw can in just a few hours,” said Ben Gura, ATC senior vegetation management specialist. “Since the work is weather-dependent, it could take several weeks for the aerial saw to complete the vegetation maintenance along 172 miles.”

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 9,530 miles of transmission lines in five-year cycles.

Note to editors: A map indicating the planned aerial saw work can be found here. Video footage of similar vegetation management work can be found on our YouTube page.

ATC named to Best Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production list

PEWAUKEE, WIS. — American Transmission Co. is one of the 2016 Best Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production, according to the 2016-manufacturing-production-logo-rgb-onscreenglobal research and consulting firm Great Place to Work® and Fortune Magazine.

ATC ranked No. 8 on the list, a ranking based on employees’ own assessments of the trust they feel toward ATC’s leaders, the pride they take in their jobs and the camaraderie they experience with coworkers. The Best Workplaces in Manufacturing and Production as a group stand out for fair profit sharing, giving employees a measure of job security and low turnover.

“We are honored to again be named among the best places to work in the country,” said ATC President and CEO Mike Rowe. “It is especially meaningful to be recognized because it is our employees who put us on the list.”

ATC was selected based on evaluations by more than 34,900 randomly selected employees from companies in the manufacturing and production sector. The full category in which ATC participated was Manufacturing & Production/Energy Distribution, as it was the established category that came closest to encompassing ATC’s unique business model as a transmission-only utility. Pewaukee, Wis.-based ATC was formed in 2001 as the first multi-state, transmission-only utility in the country.

“The leading manufacturing and production companies know the game has changed,” said Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work. “The best workplaces in the industry know they can’t just churn out their products with warm bodies. They need to focus on attracting and retaining top talent by putting people first, in a high-trust culture. That’s how they are winning in the market.”

Fortune published the complete list of 15 Best Workplaces in Manufacturing & Production. Click here for the entire list and here for ATC’s company profile.

Herbst joins ATC as VP of Information Technology

sherbst-WebPEWAUKEE, Wis. – Scott Herbst has joined American Transmission Co. as vice president of Information Technology. Herbst comes to ATC from PPL Corp., where he was senior director for the IT Business Solutions group. Herbst also held IT and operations positions with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator and Xcel Energy. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree in finance, both from the University of Minnesota.


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