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Grow Smart at the library during national pollinator month

ATC offers pollinator education/youth STEM activities to over 500 libraries in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

PEWAUKEE – American Transmission Co. wants K-12 students to Grow Smart this summer. The company — in partnership with national gardening expert and author Melinda Myers, the Wisconsin Public Library System and the Upper Peninsula Region of Library Cooperation — is offering free pollinator education and STEM activities for K-12 youth and their families, along with live gardening webinars for adults during June 2022, which is National Pollinator Month.

The programming was made available to over 480 Wisconsin libraries and over 40 libraries in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. June is National Pollinator Month. The libraries can support the Grow Smart program with their own ideas, book lists and other activities.

 Grow Smart for pollinators

Nearly all of the world’s seed plants need pollinators — animals that cause a plant to make fruits or seeds by moving pollen from one part of a plant to another part to fertilize it. Visits from bees, beetles, birds, butterflies and other pollinators result in larger, more flavorful fruits and higher crop yields.

But pollinator populations are decreasing, mainly due to loss of habitat. Grow Smart and add native, pollinator-friendly plants to your yard to aid in their survival. Adding native plants doesn’t require a lot of space or even a lot of effort. Join us at your local library during June to learn more.

Youth videos and activities

ATC and Melinda Myers created three videos and accompanying STEM-based activities for K-12 students that are available through local libraries or at www.atc-GrowSmart.com/library.

  • Making and caring for a bee home
  • Native sunflower project
  • Growing a pollinator garden in a container

Also available on the website are additional youth gardening videos and a young gardener’s journal.

Live webinars for adults

Adults can register for three live webinars hosted by Melinda Myers who want to learn more about how to incorporate pollinators into their gardens and landscaping.

  • June 1, 2022, 6:30 p.m. – Creating a pollinator paradise
  • June 15, 2022, 7:00 p.m. – Supporting native bees
  • June 22, 2022, 6:30 p.m. – Maintaining your landscape with pollinators in mind

 Library patrons can register for the webinars at www.atc-GrowSmart.com/library. The webinars will be recorded and available on ATC’s YouTube channel for viewing shortly after the live webinars. View or download the Grow Smart Pollinator Guide for suggestions on a variety of native, pollinator-friendly plants.

ATC’s pollinator habitat support

ATC is uniquely positioned to help establish pollinator habitat because of the over 10,000 miles of transmission line right-of-way we manage. Roughly 40% of the rights-of-way we manage may currently serve as suitable habitat for pollinators and our practices help make these areas suitable for pollinators.

The four-acre native prairie surrounding ATC’s Pewaukee, Wis., headquarters is certified as a native landscape by the Wildlife Habitat Council and we have helped over 30 entities that allow public access to our rights-of-way develop roughly 275 acres of pollinator habitat through our Pollinator Habitat grant program since 2017.

American Transmission Co. announces promotion

PEWAUKEE, Wis. — American Transmission Co. has named Greg Levesque vice president of external affairs and communications.

In this newly created position, Levesque will oversee policy, government affairs, real estate, environmental, customer relations, interconnection services, local relations and corporate communications.

Since joining ATC in 2003, Levesque has overseen several departments related to his current role, most recently as director of corporate communications, policy and strategy beginning in 2020.

Prior to joining ATC, Levesque worked as a regulatory analyst at law firms in Madison and Chicago. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a Master of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin School of Business.

Outside of his ATC duties, Levesque serves on the Community Board of Directors for the Clean Lakes Alliance in Madison and the American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer Board of Ambassadors.

Construction complete for Port Washington-Saukville Rebuild Project

Transmission modifications strengthen regional electric reliability, operating flexibility

 

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – ATC has completed construction of the Port Washington-Saukville Rebuild Project. This project included a 4.8-mile, 138,000-volt transmission line rebuild, along with modifications at the Port Washington Substation in Port Washington, Wis., and Saukville Substation in Saukville, Wis.

Initially identified in ATC’s 10-Year Assessment in 2009, this $25 million infrastructure investment strengthens electric transmission reliability in the southeast Wisconsin area and improves operating flexibility under certain system conditions. The project was officially placed into service Dec. 18, 2021.

The prior H-frame structures were replaced with 41 galvanized steel single-pole structures and new wires, transitioning the line from a single circuit to a double circuit. The replacement process took place in phases. ATC’s contractor, M.J. Electric, began construction in spring 2020 to coincide with system and operational maintenance activities. 

“In addition to new wires, we also installed fiber optic wire, which will provide high-speed data to our system operations center,” said Jon Meiers, senior project manager.

Substation work at the Port Washington Substation included the addition of a control house and perimeter fencing. A portion of the Saukville Substation also was upgraded, and line positions were changed.

Restoration along the right-of-way will initiate in the coming weeks and is expected to be complete this spring.

A map of the project can be viewed here.

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

Connecting to renewable generation continues driving the need for new, updated transmission infrastructure

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co.’s new 10-year plan to address the need for electric grid improvements is driven by an increase in renewable generation projects in addition to required asset maintenance improvements.

“Since the time ATC was formed 20 years ago, our aim has been to consistently achieve the highest standards in electric reliability, efficiency and safety,” said Andy Dolan, vice president of system planning. “The interconnection requests we’ve seen over the last year for renewable generation developments in our footprint is unprecedented. In response, our long-range planning efforts are transforming today’s network for tomorrow’s sustainable energy future.”

Specifically, the plan calls for expenditures of $2.2 billion in asset maintenance, $0.2 billion in regional Multi-Benefits Projects, $0.6 billion in network projects and between $0.5 billion and $1.2 billion in other capital expenditures.

“While we’re investing in a grid that aligns with new technologies and generation resources, 50% of our capital projects are also driven by aging infrastructure,” said Jim Vespalec, director of asset planning and engineering. “Significant investments in our existing infrastructure are required to address deteriorating wooden poles and substation equipment initially installed decades ago that is approaching end-of-life. Additionally, new fiber optic wire upgrades and installations also help our operators address unplanned and planned outages and more reliably monitor the status of our grid.”

The full plan is available for viewing at ATC10YearPlan.

American Transmission Co. announces two new appointments to board of directors

Suzanne Allen, president of Allen CFO Services LLC, and Scott Mair, president – AT&T Network Engineering & Operations, have been appointed to American Transmission Co.’s board of directors, effective Sept. 1, 2021.

Allen and Mair’s appointments expand ATC’s board to 11 members. Allen will serve on the board’s audit and finance committees, and Mair will serve on the audit and compensation committees.

“We are delighted to welcome Scott and Sue to the ATC board of directors,” said ATC President, CEO and Chairman of the Board Mike Rowe. “Sue brings valuable financial experience in the utility, information technology and manufacturing industries. Scott brings substantial business and technology leadership experience in the telecommunications industry.”

Suzanne Allen, of Duluth, Minn., is president of Allen CFO Services, a consulting company that brings the power of financial tools to companies that may not yet be in a position to hire a full time chief financial officer but can benefit from the high skill assistance of a CFO.

Allen formerly served as CFO at Unity Holdings Inc., based in Fargo, N.D., and Compudyne Inc., an information technology company based in Duluth, Minn. Previously, she was vice president and treasurer of Otter Tail Corporation, also in Minnesota. She has held treasurer roles with Rural Cellular Corporation and Nash Finch Company.

Allen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota – Duluth and a Master of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas.

Scott Mair, of Frisco, Texas, is president – AT&T Network Engineering & Operations, where he oversees AT&T’s next-generation wireless and wireline networks, including planning, engineering, construction and operations. He also leads AT&T Labs Research, the company’s intellectual property organization and network operational support, which includes AT&T’s central offices and data centers, energy optimization, network automation and infrastructure provisioning.

Prior to his current role, Mair served as president – AT&T operations and senior vice president – technology planning and engineering. Mair began his career with Wisconsin Bell. From 1985 to 2001, he held several positions with Wisconsin Bell and Ameritech serving on teams such as NP&E, corporate planning and operations. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in industrial technology, both from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville.