News | ATC - Part 30
American Transmission Co. releases annual 10-year plan
Regional planning demonstrates economic value of grid improvements
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – Noting that evolving energy markets and increased use of renewable energy are driving the need for electrical grid improvements, American Transmission Co. has announced plans to assure continued reliability in its recent 10-Year Transmission System Assessment.
“Future projects will address economic and public policy benefits, along with local and regional reliability,” said John Flynn, ATC’s executive vice president of strategic planning and project development. “Our 10-year plan calls for $3 billion to $3.6 billion in transmission system improvements.”
The expenditures include $1.2 billion in improvements and additions to the transmission network, $1.1 billion in maintenance and $0.5 billion in regional projects, the costs of which will be shared across the Upper Midwest. Other capital projects will range from $0.2 billion to $0.8 billion.
The report also notes that as regional planning efforts evolve and become more sophisticated, the economic benefits of transmission improvements become more evident. Easing congestion and providing access to sources of lower cost energy will help keep electricity prices in check. ATC estimates that, over the past three years, 99 percent of the cost of its transmission projects will be offset by savings in energy prices over the life of the projects.
The 10-Year Assessment, available online at www.ATC10YearPlan.com, lists more than 70 projects across the ATC service area.
ATC to rebuild transmission line in southeast Wisconsin, four-county region
Original line built in late 1940s
Pewaukee, Wis. – American Transmission Co. has received approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to reconstruct an existing 53-mile, 138-kV transmission line through a four-county region in southeast Wisconsin. This rebuild will occur between the Waukesha Substation in the City of Waukesha, through Jefferson and Dodge Counties to the St. Lawrence Substation in the Village of Slinger in Washington County.
Known as the Quad County Reliability Project, this project will help maintain reliability of the electric transmission system. The existing transmission line was originally built in the late 1940s and this rebuild will allow the system to meet current and future electricity loads.
Work on the project includes replacing approximately 423 structures along the entire route. New electricity-carrying wires and fiber optic wires will be installed on 35 miles of the line; the remaining portions of the line will carry the existing conductors, which will be transferred from the old structures to the new ones. In some areas, new structures have already been replaced as part of a separate project needed to achieve required safety clearances between the wires and the ground.
Construction is expected to begin in fall 2014. The estimated cost of the project is $59 million and the targeted in-service date is 2017. Landowners along the right-of-way have been informed of the project and will continue to be kept apprised as the project proceeds. No new right-of-way is needed for this project, but ATC will work with landowners to access the right-of-way through their property if necessary.
Additional information is available at www.atc-projects.com.
Helicopter, air saw to be used for tree trimming
Ground access to transmission line corridor presents difficulties
A helicopter and heavy-duty air saw will be used to trim trees along a 20-mile transmission line corridor west of Stevens Point, Wis., this week.
Difficult terrain and wetlands around the transmission line corridor make it very difficult to access with ground crews, said Dan Horton, vegetation management specialist for American Transmission Co. The helicopter and air saw allow trimming to be performed in a few hours; a ground-based crew might take several days to accomplish the same amount of work in difficult conditions.
ATC has contracted with Aerial Solutions, Inc., a company that specializes in aerial tree management along transmission line corridors. The helicopters are equipped with a heavy-duty air saw with rotary blades suspended on a 90-foot vertical boom. In some areas, additional vegetation may be removed by ground crews.
Managing the growth of trees and other vegetation is key to helping ensure public safety and electric system reliability. ATC performs routine vegetation management on its 9,480 miles of transmission lines in five-year cycles.
New WIRES study first guide to all benefits of building transmission
A new study commissioned by WIRES and authored by economists at The Brattle Group finds that new high-voltage transmission investments offer numerous potential benefits that have too often been disregarded as remote, intangible or hard to estimate.
Read the WIRES news release or download the study.
Borgard elected to ATC board of directors
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – Lawrence T. Borgard has joined the board of directors of American Transmission Co.
Borgard is the president and chief operating officer–utilities for Integrys Energy Group. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Integrys’ six regulated electric and natural gas utilities. Collectively, the subsidiaries serve 1.6 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across four Midwest states.
He began his career at Wisconsin Public Service Corp. as an engineer in 1984, rising to leadership positions in field operations, regulatory compliance, transmission and planning. More recently, he has held executive level positions at multiple Integrys subsidiaries.
A recent chairman of the board of the American Gas Association, Borgard also serves on the board of directors of Bellin Health in Green Bay, Wis., and was a recent campaign chairman for the United Way of Brown County. He also is an executive advisor and member of the board of governors of the Metropolitan Planning Commission in Chicago.
On the ATC board, Borgard replaces Charles Schrock, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Integrys Energy Group.