News | American Transmission Co. - Part 5
Employees put company on the list for fourth year in a row
Pewaukee, Wis. – At American Transmission Co. our growth wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of our employees. We’re proud of our team, and we’re also excited to announce our organization has been named one of the 2017 Best Small & Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work and FORTUNE. Thanks to our employees, ATC has made the list every year since 2014.
This ranking considered 74,000 surveys from employees at hundreds of businesses in all sectors of the economy. ATC earned a spot on this list based on employees’ assessment of the camaraderie, leadership, fairness, rewards and career opportunities enjoyed in their workplace.
“ATC is successful in the electric transmission industry because we challenge ourselves to be innovative. Our workplace culture is no different. We support employee growth by encouraging development and strive to make it a place where people want to stay,” said Mike Rowe, President and CEO of ATC.
Outstanding small and mid-sized employers – as identified by their employees – are substantially more likely to report work experiences linked to retention, innovation and good customer service, according to research by Great Place to Work. The winning organizations also are more likely to maintain a healthy organizational culture as they grow larger and more complex.
“The Best Small & Medium workplaces are laying the groundwork for future success by building trust, cooperation and leadership credibility. All of these enhance business performance and create a positive environment for doing business,” said Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work.
The Best Small & Medium Workplaces is one of a series of rankings by Great Place to Work and FORTUNE based on research into employee feedback from Great Place to Work-Certified™ organizations. ATC has ranked as a Best Workplace since 2014, and as a Best Workplace to Retire From, Best Workplace for Giving Back and Best Workplace in Manufacturing and Production by Great Place to Work and FORTUNE.
MADISON, Wis. – The portion of the Badger Coulee Transmission Line Project connecting the Cardinal Substation in the Town of Middleton to the North Madison Substation in the Town of Vienna has been energized.
While this 20-mile segment is complete and now moving electricity, the portion of the project between the North Madison Substation and the Briggs Road Substation in the La Crosse area is still under construction.
This 180-mile, 345,000-volt transmission line was approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in April 2015 and is expected to be in service by late 2018. The project will help ensure reliable electricity for the region and provide access to lower-cost power and renewable energy.
“We appreciate the cooperation of area residents as we completed work on this portion of the project,” said American Transmission Co. Senior Local Relations Representative Lee Meyerhofer. “We will continue our commitment to keeping the public informed, constructing the line in a safe and efficient manner, and protecting the environment.”
Project maps and additional information are available at www.badgercoulee.com.
Capital expenditure of $2.8 billion to $3.6 billion is lower than recent years
PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co.’s 10-year plan for electric grid improvements calls for a mix of new construction and continued asset maintenance to maintain the company’s top performance in operations.
“Our long-range planning efforts assure the reliability that our customers depend on,” said Ron Snead, vice president of system planning. “The expenditures in this year’s 10-Year Transmission System Assessment are reduced from recent years, reflecting the measures ATC has taken to improve electric reliability.”
Specifically, the plan calls for expenditures of $1.4 billion in asset maintenance, $0.48 billion in regional Multi-Value Projects, between $0.7 billion and $1 billion in network projects and between $0.3 billion and $0.8 billion in other capital expenditures.
Asset renewal has played a key role in operating performance. “We achieved top quartile or better reliability performance in 2016 for our transmission network,” said John McNamara, vice president of asset management. “Maintaining a reliable transmission system in a cost-effective manner is core to our business and supports our customers.”
The full plan is available for viewing at ATC10YearPlan.
Utilities are two of 28 to join equipment sharing program
To help restore electric service to communities after catastrophic emergencies or significant natural events, 28 utilities – including American Transmission Co. and ITC Midwest – have now committed to participate in the RESTORE program, which establishes a proactive approach to providing critical equipment for utilities that need additional resources during disaster recovery. The program establishes a binding agreement between participating utilities.
The national importance of a strategic transformer reserve has been highlighted by the Department of Energy’s Strategic Transformer Reserve Report to Congress earlier this year. Newly formed at the time of that DOE Report, the RESTORE program is now a fully functional collaborative effort that takes advantage of regional cooperation and is consistent with DOE’s recommendation supporting voluntary industry-based options to address the reserve.
RESTORE, or Regional Equipment Sharing for Transmission Outage Restoration, was founded in 2016 by Louisville Gas and Electric Co. and Kentucky Utilities Co., PPL Electric Utilities, Tennessee Valley Authority and Southern Company to identify and share spare transformers and other transmission equipment, which will then be available for purchase by other participants in the event of a major disaster within their service area.
“Utility cooperation and the ability to call on additional resources play a critical role during times of natural disasters and other emergencies that can impact our electric transmission system,” said John Lucas, chair of RESTORE’s operating committee and general manager of transmission policy and services at Southern Company.
“Launching the RESTORE program, coupled with existing industry programs and each utility’s internal resources, further strengthens total grid resiliency for the region and electricity customers,” said Mark Davis, executive vice president and chief operating officer for ATC.
Jon Jipping, chief operating officer for ITC Holdings Corp., including ITC Midwest, added, “Establishing these types of relationships and being able to call on more than 20 neighboring utilities at a moment’s notice will mean a more efficient response and expedited recovery when experiencing these types of emergencies.”
The program has now expanded to include 20 additional participating utilities: Ameren Missouri; Ameren Illinois; Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois; Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.; six Duke Energy utilities; Duquesne Light Co., East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Entergy Corp.; Florida Power and Light Co., ITC Transmission; METC; Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.
RESTORE is designed to enhance the resilience and reliability of the power grid and provide additional sources for utilities seeking critical equipment during disaster recovery and does not replace existing programs or agreements already in place. The RESTORE agreement is now in place among all participating utilities, except a few that must first obtain state approval to execute the agreement.
John Douglas, oneGRID, 416-453-8290, John.firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne Spaltholz, ATC, 262-506-6933, email@example.com
ATC Development Co. invests in leading Canadian HVDC transmission developer – oneGRID Corp.
Toronto, Ontario, August 24, 2017 – oneGRID Corp. announced that ATC Development Co. has invested development capital in oneGRID and has joined its Board of Directors. ATC Development Co. is the development branch of American Transmission Co., formed by its investor-owned utility members to pursue development outside of ATC’s traditional Midwestern United States footprint.
oneGRID, a Canadian independent transmission developer with projects in North and South America, is developing a portfolio of utility-scale high-voltage direct current transmission projects using underwater submarine cables. The principals of oneGRID have significant HVDC development experience including the 1,000 megawatt Lake Erie Connector, the 1,000 MW Empire State Connector and the 1,000 MW Champlain Hudson Power Express. oneGRID focuses on unlocking renewable generation by using proprietary and innovative submarine routes that solve for transmission congestion that will facilitate regulators to achieve their carbon emission reduction objectives.
“In addition to forming a capital partnership, oneGRID hopes to leverage ATC’s regulatory and operational expertise to help identify innovative HVDC transmission projects that will solve for transmission congestion, improve system reliability and help connect renewable generation,” said John Douglas, oneGRID CEO.
“Our investment in oneGRID is a good fit for our development goals,” said Mike Hofbauer, executive vice president of ATC Development Co., and a oneGRID board member. “The oneGRID team has a proven track record of identifying and successfully developing HVDC projects, which are on the rise throughout our industry to help move renewables to market and improve electric system reliability. We believe we can add value with our extensive transmission development experience, which includes HVDC.”
About HVDC technology
HVDC transmission was first commercialized in 1954, and since then, continuing advances in component and control technologies have reduced cost and increased flexibility leading to the successful implementation of approximately 200 HVDC projects on six continents. HVDC transmission typically consists of two converter stations connected by a long transmission line. One station converts AC to DC for power transmission, and the second converts DC back to AC for delivery to consumers. HVDC transmission lines can be installed overhead, underground or underwater using submarine cables.
The advantages of HVDC include:
- lower line losses,
- improved grid reliability and resiliency,
- power flow control and
- ability to connect asynchronous or out-of-phase systems.
About oneGRID Corp.
oneGRID is an independent electricity transmission developer that focuses on innovative routes that will unlock renewable generating sources by relieving transmission congestion with minimal environmental impact. oneGRID uses safe and reliable HVDC technology to improve and strengthen grid performance. With projects in both North and South America, oneGRID is committed to responsible development that respects local communities and minimizes environmental impact. www.onegridcorp.com
About ATC Development Co.
ATC Development Co. is the development branch of American Transmission Co., formed by its investor-owned utility members to pursue development outside of ATC’s traditional Midwestern United States footprint. ATC is a Wisconsin-based utility that owns and operates the electric transmission system in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Formed in 2001 as the nation’s first multi-state transmission-only utility, ATC has invested $4.3 billion to improve the adequacy and reliability of the transmission infrastructure in the Upper Midwest. ATC now owns and operates $4.6 billion in assets, including more than 9,540 miles of transmission lines and 548 substations. www.atcllc.com