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News | American Transmission Co.

PSC approves a 21-mile, 138,000-volt transmission line upgrade in Brown and Oconto counties

Bayport-Pioneer Rebuild Project expected to be in-service in 2022

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has approved an electric reliability transmission line rebuild project between the Bayport Substation in Brown County and the Pioneer Substation in Oconto County. ATC submitted its application for the Bayport-Pioneer Rebuild Project in spring 2019 and the order for the Certificate of Authority was issued on March 19, 2020.

“The existing Bayport-Pioneer transmission line infrastructure needs to be rebuilt and upgraded to better serve the electric needs in Brown and Oconto counties,” said Jim Pericolosi, ATC project manager. “The PSC’s approval to replace outdated structures and wires significantly improves the region’s electric reliability and supports the area’s economic growth, which has been increasing over the last several years.”

The project was announced in early 2018 and includes replacing the transmission structures between the Bayport and Pioneer Substations, replacing existing 69-kV wires with 138-kV wires, installing a second set of 138-kV wires, and making upgrades at the Bayport, Pioneer, Pulliam, Sobieski and Suamico substations.

The project is estimated to cost $47 million. Construction is projected to begin in late 2020, with an in-service date of 2022.

American Transmission Co. announces promotion

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. has named Tom Dagenais director of corporate strategy.

In this newly created position, Dagenais leads the group responsible for developing and scaling innovative ideas, business models and new technologies to connect ATC’s customers and stakeholders to a sustainable energy future.

Since joining ATC in 2004, Dagenais has held multiple roles in the company’s System Planning Department supporting ATC’s efforts to plan, design, build and operate the electrical transmission system safely, reliably and cost-effectively. Prior to ATC he spent multiple years working in transmission system operations, first as a general engineer at the Mid-America Interconnected Network and later at the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator as a reliability coordinator.

Dagenais earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He also is licensed as a Professional Engineer in Wisconsin.

American Transmission Co. announces two promotions

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co.’s Board of Directors last week approved two promotions. Lori Lorenz was named an officer of the company, and Nate DeBaun was named corporate secretary.

Lorenz assumes the newly created position of executive vice president, chief administrative officer. Primarily focused on culture and people, she oversees human resources, safety, facilities and corporate communications. Lorenz joined ATC in 2013 as director of human resources and was promoted to vice president of human capital in 2014. Since joining ATC, she has developed and implemented several strategic initiatives that have contributed to ATC earning local and national recognition for being a great place to work. Lorenz holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She serves as a leader in several community and industry organizations including Edison Electric Institute’s Chief Human Resources Officer Executive Advisory Committee, Society for Human Resource Management, Waukesha County Business Alliance, Tempo Waukesha, Roger’s Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, Women and Girls Fund of Waukesha County Board of Trustees and University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Professional & Executive Development Advisory Board.

DeBaun serves as associate general counsel and corporate secretary for ATC. As corporate secretary, he works with the general counsel and executive team in corporate governance matters, including preparing for and carrying out ATC’s board of directors and board committee meetings. He also provides legal advice and support to ATC’s board of directors. DeBaun joined ATC’s legal department in 2011 and was promoted to lead counsel, corporate affairs and assistant corporate secretary in 2014. DeBaun earned a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science and law, psychology and French from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers Law School. He is licensed to practice law in Wisconsin and Illinois.

American Transmission Co. energizes Spring Valley-North Lake Geneva Electric Reliability Project

Project addresses electric system needs, supports the community and environment

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – The Spring Valley-North Lake Geneva Electric Reliability Project, which electrically connects Kenosha County with the Lake Geneva area, is energized and now part of an integrated electric system serving customers in the region. This 23-mile, 138,000-volt transmission line was approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in March 2016 and construction initiated in 2017.

Components of the $71 million project include: construction of a new 138,000-volt transmission line stretching from the North Lake Geneva Substation in southern Walworth County to the Spring Valley Substation in western Kenosha County, construction of the new Balsam Substation along Wisconsin State Trunk Highway 50 in the town of Wheatland and construction of a new 69,000-volt transmission line to connect the new substation to the Twin Lakes Substation in Twin Lakes.

“There were several unique challenges in the planning of this project,” said ATC Senior Project Manager Doug Berton. “In addition to addressing transmission reliability for the region, we also needed to consider the reconfiguration needs of the lower-voltage system. The Spring Valley-North Lake Geneva project now provides system redundancy and allows for maintenance outages when repairs are needed.”

ATC also worked with its environmental contractor, Stantec, to re-vegetate areas along the route in addition to the perimeter of the substation with a pollinator-friendly seed mix. To date, the substation site has reached 70% re-vegetation, a scoring well-suited for pollinator habitat. ATC also funded the transplant of several dozen trees from the substation site to a local school as part of the Trees for Threes program with the Milwaukee Bucks.

“We appreciate the cooperation of area residents as we worked on this project, beginning with public involvement in 2013 to completing construction,” said ATC Director of Environmental and Local Relations Gregory Levesque. “We will continue restoration on portions of the project in the coming months and continue monitoring pollinator habitats over the next several years.”

Visit www.atc-projects.com for more information. A map of the project can be found here.

American Transmission Co. issues annual 10-Year Transmission System Assessment

Asset renewal projects, green energy interconnection requests on the rise

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – In a review of market conditions and transmission needs, American Transmission Co.’s annual 10-year plan for electric grid improvements highlights the need for asset renewal projects to ensure reliability, efficiency and safety, and increased interconnection requests from resource developers.

“The combination of aging infrastructure and extreme weather can compromise the reliable, efficient operation of the existing transmission system,” said Jim Vespalec, director of Asset Planning and Engineering. “That’s why approximately 54% of the projects in our 10-Year Plan are dedicated to maintaining and reinforcing the system and improving its resiliency. Our focus on asset renewal — strengthening the performance of our existing transmission facilities — helps to keep the lights on in the communities we serve.”

Andy Dolan, vice president of System Planning, said the rapid expansion of green sources of electric generation is being driven by a combination of consumer preference, reduced costs and political influences. “The generation mix is evolving from traditional fuels like nuclear, coal and natural gas to a growing reliance on sources of green energy including wind and solar,” Dolan said. “In fact, we have seen over 1,500 megawatts of coal generation retire in our footprint since the beginning of 2018; and we are studying proposals to connect over 5,800 MW of solar generation and almost 1,000 MW of wind generation.”

Specifically, ATC’s 10-year plan calls for expenditures of $1.7 billion in asset maintenance, $0.4 billion in network projects, $0.2 billion in regional Multi-Value Projects, and between $0.6 billion and $1.3 billion in other capital expenditures. The full plan can be viewed at atc10yearplan.com.