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News | American Transmission Co. - Part 5

ATC Development Co. invests in leading Canadian HVDC transmission developer – oneGRID Corp.


John Douglas, oneGRID, 416-453-8290,
Anne Spaltholz, ATC, 262-506-6933,

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.


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.

Update: Transmission system restoration in southwest Wisconsin

June 29, 4:55 p.m.

MADISON, Wis. –   Crews are continuing restoration work on two 69-kilovolt lines that were damaged during June 28 storms in southwest Wisconsin.

Restoration efforts are ongoing in the Village of Livingston and an area south of Cobb.

There is a transmission-related power outage in Livingston. Because distribution wires are attached to the poles that are down, restoration is taking longer than usual. The estimated return to service for Alliant Energy customers is Friday, June 30. There are no other transmission outages that are causing power outages for electric customers.

ATC expects to complete restoration work by Saturday.

We are committed to restoring power as soon as possible and working in a safe manner.

If you are in any of these areas, please stay away from downed lines and pay attention to road conditions and closures.




Update: Transmission system restoration and outages in southwest Wisconsin

June 29, 9:30 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. –   Approximately 70 transmission poles along three 69-kilovolt lines were knocked down during June 28 storms in southwest Wisconsin.

Significant cleanup and restoration efforts are ongoing in the Village of Livingston area and south of Cobb, with some road closures reported due to downed lines.

We are committed to restoring power as soon as possible and working in a safe manner. Restoration efforts are underway.

If you are in any of these areas, please stay away from downed lines and pay attention to road conditions and closures.

American Transmission Co. unveils groundbreaking new method for transmission line construction

Solo-Driver™ offers a faster, greener and more cost-effective option for foundation installation using vibratory technology

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. has developed a new method for installing transmission structure foundations that is faster, safer, more economical and  more environmentally friendly than traditional installation methods. Solo-Driver™ is ATC’s new, patent-pending method for installing foundations using a vibratory hammer. 

To date, the utility industry has largely relied on two methods for installing transmission structures when a concrete base is not needed: direct bury and traditional vibratory installation. With Solo-Driver, now there is a third choice. 

Solo-Driver is the first method of its kind to employ a single excavator equipped with a vibratory hammer for foundation installation. For this method, caisson foundations have been modified to include side tabs that the vibratory hammer grasps. Using the tabs, the hammer lifts the foundation from where it is pre-positioned horizontally on the ground, rotates it vertically into position, and vibrates it into the ground to the required depth. 

“This new method is a game changer in transmission line construction,” says ATC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Davis. “Solo-Driver is just one part of ATC’s commitment to excellence in transmission planning, construction and innovation, and we are excited to announce this new technology and share it with our transmission partners.”

Solo-Driver provides significant cost savings over traditional installation methods due to reduced labor costs, reduced equipment costs and increased efficiency. It has been shown to cut costs by as much as half in optimal conditions. The chart below compares Solo-Driver to traditional methods.

MethodAverage installation timeInstallations per dayCrew size
Direct bury150 min/structure45
Traditional vibratory75 min/foundation85
Solo-Driver™30 min/foundation182-3


Solo-Driver is safer than other methods. Traditional vibratory and direct bury installation methods require crews to manually position the foundation using one or more cranes and guiding cables. With Solo-Driver, the excavator and vibratory hammer maneuver the caisson, and safety interlock jaws on the hammer prevent it from dropping the caisson during installation, even if power is temporarily lost.

Solo-Driver has fewer environmental and landowner impacts than other methods. It requires significantly less equipment, which means less weight, resulting in minimal ground disturbance. It is also much quieter compared to other methods and requires just half of the overhead clearance of traditional methods.

To learn more about Solo-Driver and watch a video demonstration of the new method, visit

ATC continues funding through the Community Planting Program for planting projects

New this year, communities can apply for pollinator-specific projects

PEWAUKEE, Wis. – American Transmission Co. will begin accepting applications on June 1 for its Community Planting Program, which provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes in ATC’s service area for planting projects on public property.

Now in its fifth year, the program helps communities where ATC transmission facilities exist. Since its inception, ATC has awarded nearly $240,000 to more than 150 eligible municipalities and counties.

To qualify, communities must commit that all current and future planting plans and urban forestry activities near high-voltage electric transmission lines will comply with ATC’s maintenance standards.

Recipients can use the program funding to plant trees and other tall-growing vegetation outside the transmission line rights-of-way. New to the program in 2017 is a pollinator-specific planting component. Funding also will be considered for communities who commit to planting low-growing, compatible vegetation such as those suggested on ATC’s Grow Smart pollinator guide. The pollinator-attracting vegetation can be a seed mix, plants, plugs or a combination thereof.

“Applying for funding through the Community Planting Program gives communities across our service area an opportunity to beautify their public space,” said ATC’s Chief Operating Office, Mark Davis. “It’s important to plant trees and tall-growing vegetation outside the right-of-way. Since we also know that pollinators are in decline due to loss of habitat, this program now offers a great opportunity to restore that habitat by planting low-growing species that attracts pollinators.”

ATC will accept applications through Sept. 30, and award recipients will be selected and notified by the end of the year. ATC will accept one application per community, and the awards range from $100 to $5,000.

The Community Planting Program is part of the Grow Smart initiative, which is directed toward individual landowners and advocates planting low-growing, compatible vegetation in transmission line rights-of-way. Additional information about ATC’s own pollinator planting initiatives, the Community Planting Program application and eligibility criteria are available on ATC’s Grow Smart website at