American Transmission Co.

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Blog | American Transmission Co. - Part 9

ATC’s top 12 of 2018

It’s the end of the year, and everyone is making their top 10 lists. We’ve had a great year, so we’re not about to miss the opportunity to share our top memories of 2018. Since we can’t stop at just 10, here are American Transmission Co.’s top 12 community-minded memories of 2018:

  1. We installed a solar-powered, streaming video camera to provide views of the Pheasant Branch Conservancy in Middleton, Wisconsin, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. all year long.
  2. We introduced a new Pollinator Planting Program to provide funding for the purchase of low-growing, native perennials that can be planted within transmission line rights-of-way.
  3. We welcomed four high school students to our Pewaukee office from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School as part of the school’s work-study program.
  4. We welcomed more than a dozen nesting pairs of Great Blue Herons to a Rookery we installed at one of our substations this spring.
  5. Our CEO co-chaired the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County 2018 campaign, a record-breaking 50 percent of our employees donated to the United Way, and we achieved a new fundraising record on behalf of ATC for the United Way.
  6. We collaborated with Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary to create a book highlighting 100 birds in our service area and distributed them to Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary 4K students.
  7. We completed our sixth year of the Community Planting Program, bringing the total amount of funds awarded to eligible municipalities and counties to nearly $300,000.
  8. We sponsored the planting of a new tree in Wisconsin for every 3-pointer the Milwaukee Bucks hit at home this season through the Trees for Threes program. We’re at 224 for the 2018-2019 season, and counting!
  9. We avoided burning 2,226 gallons of gas and emitting 43,160 pounds of CO2 by driving our fleet of electric vehicles for business travel this year.
  10. Our employees volunteered more than 700 hours in 2018.
  11. We gave back to the communities we serve with monetary contributions totaling more than $900,000.
  12. We once again helped meet the electric needs of more than 5 million people in the Upper Midwest.

Want to learn more about our environmental and community commitment? Be sure to check our Environmental, Social and Governance Report to keep track of our efforts year-round.

Dane County employees get into the giving season with drives for local groups

Tom, transmission planning, drops off donations at the giving tree in Madison.

Each holiday season, employees across the company team up to contribute time, funds and resources to organizations in the communities we serve. This year, employees from our Madison and Cottage Grove offices grabbed tags for Domestic Abuse Intervention Services most-needed Wish List items and placed them under our giving tree.

“I’ve been very blessed – I have a great job, family, friends and a safe home,” said Tia, American Transmission Co. local relations. “I donate to help those in need.”

More than 35 sets of new children’s pajamas, along with tote bags, socks, hats and gloves will be delivered to shelter residents.

Madison and Cottage Grove employees also contributed to the Second Harvest Foodbank NBC15 Share Your Holidays to eliminate hunger campaign. The offices contributed the equivalent of about 1,100 meals.

Wisconsin Electrical Utilities/Department of Military Affairs partnership awarded by U.S. Army

The Wisconsin Electrical Utilities/Department of Military Affairs Public-Private Partnership was recognized with a 2018 Army Community Partnership Award during a ceremony held Dec. 4 at the Pentagon in Washington.

The award, presented by the Department of the Army Office of Installation Management, recognizes the Department of Military Affairs’ success in collaborating with private partners in the electric utilities field throughout Wisconsin to mitigate risk to the power grid, identify opportunities to improve incident recovery, and develop practices that demonstrate an “all hazards” approach to cooperation between government and private entities.

Seven U.S. Army installations and neighboring communities were selected for demonstrating partnerships that enhance Army readiness, modernize Army processes and improve business reform while building stronger community relationships.

The Department of Military Affairs and Wisconsin utility companies have worked collaboratively on a number of exercises incorporating physical and cyber threats to the state’s power grid as well as the state’s response to long-term power outages.

The public-private partnership brings together the Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, which includes Wisconsin Emergency Management and the Wisconsin National Guard, and the following utility companies: Alliant Energy, American Transmission Company, Madison Gas and Electric, WEC Energy Group, WPPI Energy and Xcel Energy.

Photo caption: David Wilson (center), manager of corporate security at ATC, was on hand in Washington to accept the award on behalf of the partnership, along with Brig. Gen. David O’Donahue, deputy adjutant general, Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs; Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Mark Michie, chief of staff, joint staff, Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs; and Lt. Col. G. David Brown, deputy director, domestic operations, Wisconsin Army National Guard. The delegation is flanked by Jordan Gillis (far left), acting assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment; and Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham (far right), Army assistant chief of staff for Installation Management.

We give during the holidays because we care

In all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we remember that this time of year can be especially stressful for people in the community who are already living with extraordinary challenges. Employees at American Transmission Co. care about our community and give their time and resources to those who need a little extra hope during the holidays.

For example, employees from our De Pere office volunteered to make a delicious dinner at Freedom House in Green Bay. Freedom House is a shelter for families experiencing homelessness that provides skills and resources to help families become self-sufficient.

De Pere employees also donated items to three local organizations that serve those in need:

  • Court Appointed Special Advocates of Brown County – a volunteer-based non-profit organization that provides a voice for abused and neglected children who are under the legal protection of the court system.
  • House of Hope – offers a safe, supportive place where young parents and children experiencing homelessness will become confident, independent and successful members of our community.
  • Wisconsin Humane Society – committed to providing protection, shelter and care for wild and homeless animals.

This time of year also can be especially challenging for patients in recovery at Rogers Memorial Hospital. Rogers is a non-profit, independent provider of specialized mental health and addiction services for adults, teens and children. Pewaukee employees donated gifts to help bring smiles to patients at Rogers in Brown Deer who can use a little extra care from the community.

Our generous Dane County employees donated food and funds to Second Harvest of Wisconsin Share Your Holidays campaign to help provide additional meals during the winter season.

We know that the holidays are just a little brighter in our community thanks to our wonderful employees.

Badger Coulee transmission line placed in service

Line will deliver reliability, economic and renewable energy benefits

The Badger Coulee transmission line, which electrically connects the Dane County area with La Crosse County area, is energized and now part of an integrated electric system serving customers in the region.

The line will help ensure reliable electricity for the region and provide access to lower-cost power and renewable energy. It is part of a portfolio of projects that will help enable the delivery of 25 gigawatts of renewable energy. A 20-mile portion of the project in Dane County was placed in service in 2017.

“Xcel Energy is committed to making investments to deliver safe, reliable and affordable electricity to our customers for decades to come,” said Michael Lamb, Xcel Energy Senior Vice President, Transmission. “This new transmission line opens up additional pathways for carbon-free energy including allowing wind and solar to enter the grid.”

The project was included in a group of 17 Multi-Value Projects designated by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, which oversees the electric grid in the region. These projects are expected to create $12.1 billion to $52.6 billion in net economic benefits over the next 20 to 40 years and enable 41 million megawatt hours per year of wind generation, which could meet the electric needs of approximately 4 million homes.

“We are very pleased that the Badger Coulee transmission line is now in service,” said Clean Grid Alliance Executive Director Beth Soholt. “This line is a vital link in the integrated network of MISO multi-value transmission projects. Completion of this line not only enables the delivery of thousands of megawatts of clean, low-cost wind power, it will also reduce congestion in the MISO energy market, and add to the reliability of the overall MISO grid.”

This 180-mile, 345,000-volt transmission line was approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in April 2015 and construction activities began in 2016. There was significant economic impact of jobs and worker spending in local communities during construction.

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2150 Assistant Business Manager Jay Allen noted that approximately 90 percent of the 300 Badger Coulee workers from their union live in Wisconsin.

“These jobs provide excellent wages and benefits to our members,” said Allen. “A project such as Badger Coulee has a large economic impact on the local communities. A number of the workers on this project stayed in motels and ate in restaurants near the construction site of the transmission line. Other local businesses that benefited from the project include, campgrounds, department stores and hardware stores.”

“We appreciate the cooperation of area residents and the public as we worked on this project beginning with public involvement in 2010 to completing construction this year,” said American Transmission Co. Director of Environmental and Local Relations Gregory Levesque. “We will be continuing restoration work on portions of the project next year. The ATC environmental department also will continue periodic monitoring through 2023 in the right-of-way to evaluate restoration, revegetation, erosion control and invasive species in certain areas as required by state and federal permits.”

Visit www.badgercoulee.com for more information about the project.