Blog | American Transmission Co. - Part 43
The Michigan Public Service Commission today granted a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a 138-kilovolt transmission line from the Holmes Substation in Menominee County to the Old Mead Substation in Delta County. This is ATC’s first CPCN application and approval in Michigan.
In issuing its order, the MPSC selected ATC’s proposed route. The 58-mile line will make maximum use of co-location opportunities, placing the new facilities on existing transmission line or other rights-of-way. The western half will share a corridor with an existing transmission line; the eastern half will share an abandoned railroad corridor currently owned by the Michigan Department of Transportation and managed by the Department of Natural Resources. In exchange for sharing the corridor, ATC proposes to develop a 10-foot-wide multi-purpose recreational trail.
“The new transmission line is intended to improve electric reliability significantly in the Upper Peninsula,” said MPSC Chairman John D. Quackenbush. “The settlement agreement approved today enabled the MPSC to decide this case nine months in advance of the one-year statutory deadline, enhancing ATC’s ability to bring needed improvements to the Upper Peninsula.”
American Transmission Co. in 2013 launched a planting program to support tree and vegetation planting in communities in its service area. During the first year of the program 59 eligible municipalities and counties received financial support for planting projects on public property within their communities in the form of grants ranging from $250 to $5,000.
To qualify, recipients committed to complying with ATC’s maintenance standards for all current and future planting plans and urban forestry activities near high-voltage electric transmission lines. Priority favored projects that promote safety and reliability of the transmission system by supporting right-of-way best management practices and keeping trees out of the right-of-way.
Tree Planting Program funding recipients are noted in the ATC news release. ATC will accept applications for its 2014 Tree Planting Program June 1 through Sept. 30, 2014, and recipients will be selected by the end of 2014.
Additional information, including a program brochure and eligibility information, is available on the ATC website.
Balancing our responsibility to improve electric system reliability with our environmental responsibilities in planning and construction is critical, and we have developed practices that provide guidance for construction work: avoidance, protection and restoration.
Helicopters can be a real time and cost saver in transmission line construction projects. In this video, a helicopter is being used to string ropes between structures on our Pleasant Prairie-Zion Transmission Line Project near Pleasant Prairie, Wis. The ropes are then used to pull the wires between the poles.
Construction is underway on the underground portion of our Western Milwaukee County Electric Reliability Project. The project involves construction of two sets of 138-kilovolt lines, each two miles long, to connect a new We Energies substation to the transmission grid. The two separate lines are needed to assure redundancy to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, which operates two Level 1 trauma centers. Although construction was not scheduled to start until next year, we took advantage of the opportunity to begin the underground portion ─about 1,250 feet─to coincide with underground road work being performed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.