American Transmission Co.

Helping to keep the lights on, businesses running and communities strong®

Blog | American Transmission Co. - Part 5

Helping protect raptors

Raptor Month celebrates various birds of prey. From barred owls and bald eagles to peregrine falcons and northern harriers, our service area is home to nearly 15 raptor species.

All raptors have a few of the same defining features that make them strong, fast, and frightening to their prey:

  • Sharp, hooked beak that has evolved over time for tearing apart prey like small animals, mice, and insects.
  • Large, sharp talons on their feet they use to scoop up and carry their prey.
  • Keenest eyesight in nature due to their eyeball size and eye muscles designed for rapid focus while chasing their fast-moving targets.

ATC’s Avian Protection Program is part of our commitment to environmental stewardship and ensuring electrical reliability. We protect birds by:

  • Ensuring new electric facilities are designed to avian-safe guidelines.
    • ATC uses a comprehensive resource for planning appropriate protection measure for work and projects on our system.
  • Providing safe nesting locations throughout our system.
    • We maintain more than 200 nesting platforms used by osprey, bald eagles and other large birds.
    • We worked with Green Bay’s Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary to install nesting boxes for American Kestrels, North America’s smallest falcon.
  • Installing bird diverters and perch guards to prevent birds from becoming injured by transmission lines or structures.
  • Working with various stakeholders to enhance habitat that benefits a wide range of wildlife, including birds.

ATC expects 50% of power it transmits will be carbon neutral by 2029

At American Transmission Co., we care about the customers and communities we serve. Our most recent environmental, social and governance report, available on our website, describes how we are working to connect the people and businesses in our service area with a more sustainable energy future.

The pace of change in our industry is accelerating, and the transition to renewable energy is occurring rapidly. States and utilities are setting ambitious renewable energy and carbon reduction goals. As a transmission company, we do not drive energy generation goals, but our network will help connect people to a sustainable energy future. By 2029, we expect more than 50% of the power we transmit will come from carbon neutral energy sources.

As a transmission-only company, we know the transmission system is the vital connection between renewable energy producers and electric consumers. As our region continues to move to renewable sources – like wind and solar – our employees are working hard to ensure consumers receive that energy in a timely and reliable manner.

Our ESG report also describes our commitment to the environment and how we invest in our employees and the communities we serve. This includes reducing the impact that construction, operations and facility maintenance has on the environment and pursuing opportunities to promote healthy ecosystems. It also features some of the ways we help support and develop employees, as well as give back to our communities through donations and volunteerism. Visit our website to learn more about our efforts.

ATC helps Grafton add native plants to bioswales

The Village of Grafton recently added bioswale storm water retention areas with native pollinator-friendly plants to one of its main streets with support from a $3,250 grant from American Transmission Co. The bioswales and pollinator habitat were installed in the 26-foot wide boulevards on either side of First Avenue between Washington Avenue and Highland Drive.

Bioswales are landscape features that collect stormwater runoff and filter out pollution. They are similar to rain gardens, but capture much more runoff from larger areas of impervious surfaces like streets and parking lots. Bioswales use native plants to help absorb more water and prevent erosion.

Not only will the bioswales help reduce contaminants entering the Milwaukee River, the native plants will provide food and shelter to bees, butterflies and other pollinators. As part of the project, the Village also removed potentially hazardous crab apple trees to help ensure the safety and reliability of the transmission system.

ATC’s Pollinator Habitat Program promotes planting low-growing vegetation within a transmission line right-of-way to beautify communities in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system. The Program provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes in ATC’s service area, as well as entities that allow public access to ATC rights-of-way (e.g. nature preserves, non-profits or public land managers).

In addition to the Pollinator Habitat Program, ATC’s Community Planting Program provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes in its service area for planting projects on public property, outside transmission line rights-of-way. Program funds can be used to plant trees and other tall-growing vegetation outside the transmission line rights-of-way.

Applications for the Community Planting Program and Pollinator Habitat Program are accepted July 1 through Sept. 30 each year, and recipients will be selected by the end of the calendar year. Awards range from $100 to $5,000. Since 2013, ATC has awarded approximately 240 communities and organizations with funds totaling more than $425,000. Additional information and program applications can be found at atc-GrowSmart.com.

ATC, Milwaukee Bucks commit 510 more trees to Wisconsin schools

The Milwaukee Bucks may no longer be in the playoffs, but we’re proud of the amazing 2019-20 regular season that got them there – a season unexpectedly interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Including the Bucks’ 31 games at Fiserv Forum and four “home” seeding games, the team scored 510 3-pointers at home during the regular season. This was the most 3-point shots made at home by any team in the Eastern Conference and the third-most in the NBA overall.

Our Trees for Threes partnership with the Bucks is important to us because it is a reflection of our commitment to the environment. For every 3-point shot the Bucks make at home during the regular season, another tree gets planted by a Wisconsin school. This year, ATC will donate a total of 510 trees to the 125 schools who registered for the 2019-20 Trees for Threes program.

After the Bucks made a franchise-record 573 threes at home during the 2018-19 regular season, 1,083 trees have now been donated to Wisconsin schools over the past two seasons alone. Throughout the four seasons of the program, a total of 1,781 trees have been donated to make the state of Wisconsin a little greener.

Check out this recap video from this season’s “Trees for Threes” program on Bucks.com. All 125 schools received a video message from Bango, the Bucks’ mascot, and an infographic to share with their students.

Rib Mountain adds some tree bark to dog park thanks to ATC

It’s a little cooler at Sandy’s Bark Park in Rib Mountain, Wis. – and not just because of  the current fall temperatures. The town recently planted a mix of Princeton elm, yellow birch, blue beech and other shade trees-thanks to a $1,250 grant from ATC’s Community Planting Program.

This grant not only helps to diversify the local tree population, it also provides shade and additional natural beauty for the park’s visitors – both canine and human.

Sandy’s Bark Park, which opened two years ago, is Rib Mountain’s first dog park. The nearly four-acre, fenced-in park features 2,000 feet of crushed gravel walking paths, benches and a dog water spigot. It also is easily accessible from the Marathon County Highway R paved walking trail and is close to at least one pet-friendly hotel.

ATC’s Community Planting Program enables us to encourage and support communities to plant trees and vegetation that beautify the landscape in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system. The program provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes in ATC’s service area for planting projects on public property, outside transmission line rights-of-way. Since 2013, ATC has awarded approximately 240 communities and organizations with funds totaling more than $425,000.

ATC accepts applications from July 1 through Sept. 30, and recipients are selected and notified by the end of the year. Awards range from $100 to $5,000. Additional information and program applications can be found at atc-GrowSmart.com.