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Helicopter, air saw to be used for tree trimming

Ground access to transmission line corridor presents difficulties

A helicopter and heavy-duty air saw will be used to trim trees along a 20-mile transmission line corridor west of Stevens Point, Wis., this week.

“Difficult terrain and wetlands around the transmission line corridor make it very difficult to access with ground crews,” said Dan Horton, vegetation management specialist for American Transmission Co. “The helicopter and air saw allow trimming to be performed in a few hours; a ground-based crew might take several days to accomplish the same amount of work in difficult conditions.”

ATC has contracted with Aerial Solutions, Inc., a company that specializes in aerial tree management along transmission line corridors. The helicopters are equipped with a heavy-duty air saw with rotary blades suspended on a 90-foot vertical boom. In some areas, additional vegetation may be removed by ground crews.

Managing the growth of trees and other vegetation is key to helping ensure public safety and electric system reliability. ATC performs routine vegetation management on its 9,480 miles of transmission lines in five-year cycles.

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American Transmission Co. is a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates the electric transmission system in portions of the Upper Midwest. Formed in 2001 as the nation’s first multi-state transmission-only utility, ATC has invested $3.2 billion to improve the adequacy and reliability of its infrastructure. ATC now is a $3.6 billion company with more than 9,500 miles of transmission lines and 530 substations. The company is a member of the MISO regional transmission organization, and provides nondiscriminatory service to all customers, supporting effective competition in energy markets without favoring any market participant. For more information, visit our website at www.atcllc.com.