American Transmission Co.

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ATC recognized by Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council’s Green Masters Program

For the second consecutive year, American Transmission Co. received recognition as a Green Master organization by the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council Green Masters program. The Green Master designation is given to the top 20% of Wisconsin companies that apply.

The Green Masters Program identifies nine key areas that define business sustainability: energy, carbon, water, waste management, transportation, supply chain, education and outreach, workforce and governance. Participants must apply each year and are scored on how well they perform in each category.

The program encourages continuous improvement by offering three levels of achievement: Green Apprentice, Green Professional and Green Master. ATC was named a Green Professional organization from 2016-2018, and first achieved the Green Master level in 2019. Our status has improved each year as we identify actions to take toward greater sustainability.

For example, this year our score improved in the governance category as we continue to describe how we are connecting people and businesses with a more sustainable energy future, our high customer satisfaction survey scores , and how we align our business with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

We continue to improve the workforce category with an employee wellness program that encourages sustainable life practices in health, money management and environmental stewardship. We also retained high marks in the community and educational outreach category – with our support of pandemic-related relief causes, our Grow Smart® and planting programs, as well as our Trees for Threes partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks.

We are proud of our Green Master achievement and continue to look for ways to further enhance our environmental commitment.

Green Lake Sanitary District restores pollinator habitat with help from ATC

The Green Lakes Sanitary District recently added 2,500 native perennials, 14 shrubs and several trees to five of the nature conservancies it manages along Wisconsin’s deepest natural inland lake thanks to a $5,000 ATC Community Planting Program grant.

The native vegetation will help restore pollinator habitat to the Hammer’s Trail, Norwegian Bay, Sunnyside, Wick Preserve and Tichora Conservancies after the recent removal of non-native and other invasive plant species.

All trees and vegetation – including highbush cranberry, elderberry, snowberry, black-eyed Susan, purple coneflower, butterfly weed, columbine and spiderwort – were planted a safe distance from utility lines to support the safety and reliability of the electric system.

Our Community Planting Program encourages and supports communities to plant trees and vegetation that beautify the landscape in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system. Since 2013, ATC has awarded approximately 240 communities and organizations with funds totaling more than $425,000.

ATC accepts applications from July 1 through Sept. 30, and award recipients are selected and notified by the end of the year. Awards range from $100 to $5,000. Additional information and program applications can be found at atc-GrowSmart.com.

ATC-sponsored virtual gardening series available until Dec. 31   

Don’t miss this opportunity to deepen your horticulture knowledge and enhance your gardening skills. From now until Dec. 31, 2020, you can view any of the 11 ATC-sponsored virtual gardening seminars by Melinda Myers on demand. Each seminar is approximately 60 minutes long and includes a handout with additional information. 

 Since 2014, ATC has partnered with nationally known gardening expert Melinda Myers to promote planting low-growing, native vegetation as part of our Grow Smart programTypically, we sponsor between 15-20 of her appearances at home and garden shows throughout Wisconsin. But with all the shows cancelled this year due to the pandemic, we had to get creative.  

 If you or someone you know is looking for some gardening tips and inspirationcheck out Myers’ gardening seminars. To watch a seminar, simply click on “Webinar link” in the seminar description and enter the access password. 

 Melinda Myers’ Virtual Gardening Seminars 

  • Food Gardening for Everyone – Plant & Maximize Your Harvest  
  • Managing Garden Pests while Keeping Pollinators Safe  
  • Waterwise Gardening  
  • Creating Pollinator Gardens  
  • Strategies for Adding Native Plants to Your Landscape & the Many Benefits!  
  • Save Money and Improve Your Soil for Better Gardening Results  
  • Fall is for Planting – Grow Smart Plants for You and the Pollinators to Enjoy!  
  • Fall Care for the Landscape and Pollinators  
  • The First Steps to Creating an Eco-friendly, Low Maintenance Landscape  
  • Selecting the Best Hydrangea for My Landscape 
  • Why Won’t My Hydrangea Bloom & Other Issues 

Baird Creek pollinator habitat restoration continues with help from ATC

The Baird Creek Preservation Foundation recently continued restoring 20 acres of native prairie in Green Bay with support from a $3,600 American Transmission Co. Pollinator Habitat Program grant.

The funding supported the establishment of a one-acre pollinator habitat to attract a diverse array of pollinators, reduce erosion and improve water quality to the Baird Creek watershed. A 2018 grant recipient, the Foundation’s original plan was to seed the acre in 2019, but flooding throughout Brown County caused the work to be postponed until 2020.

And then came the global pandemic and its challenges. A large group of volunteers was set to seed the acre in early October, but with a significant spike in COVID-19 cases, they canceled less than a week before. A call to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources led the Foundation to a contact at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service who agreed to no-till drill the native pollinator seed mix.

A no-till drill is a planter that plants seeds in the ground without having to drastically disturb the topsoil (i.e., tilling or plowing). The no-till method decreases soil erosion, makes it easier for water to infiltrate the soil, and better retains organic matter and nutrients in the soil.

Since its establishment in 1997, the non-profit Baird Creek Preservation Foundation has been a significant player in the preservation and restoration of the Baird Creek Greenway and Watershed.

ATC’s Pollinator Habitat Program promotes planting low-growing vegetation within a transmission line right-of-way to beautify communities in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system.

ATC accepts applications from July 1 through Sept. 30, and award recipients are selected and notified by the end of the year. Awards range from $100 to $5,000. Additional information and program applications can be found at atc-GrowSmart.com.

Generation at Two Creeks Solar Park now flowing on ATC’s system

ATC has recently completed a $1.3 million project to connect 150 megawatts of solar energy to our transmission system.

Two Creeks Solar Park the first solar utility-scale, renewable generation facility within ATC’s footprint. The completed facility is jointly owned by Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and Madison Gas and Electric (MGE). Energy produced at the site will serve customers of both companies, with WPS owning 100 MW and MGE 50 MW of the capacity. The project was developed by NextEra Energy Resources, LLC of Juno Beach, Fla.

The 800-acre solar field features 500,000 solar panels and is located in the town of Two Creeks and city of Two Rivers, Wis. NextEra contracted with M.J. Electric to build a 6-mile, 138,000-volt generator lead line north of the solar farm to connect the solar collector station with ATC’s system at the Kewaunee Substation – which is owned by Dominion Energy.

“This generation to transmission interconnection is the first of its kind on our system,” said Christine Rawson, ATC senior project manager. “We purchased switches and breakers in an unused substation bay at the Kewaunee Substation from Dominion and added new controls and relaying to connect the generator lead line to our system.”

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved the Generator Affiliated Interest Agreement for this project in December 2019, ATC’s construction was completed in July 2020, and the generator lead line was successfully tested and synchronized onto ATC’s system in September 2020.