Energizing Your Future

Using avian interaction data to help reduce outages

A reliable and safe electric transmission system is vital to the millions of electric consumers in the communities American Transmission Co. serves. We share an appreciation for the environment with them, and we work continually to balance that appreciation with our obligation to operate and maintain the grid.

ATC began tracking avian interactions with our transmission facilities nearly 10 years ago, and as part of our compliance plan, we report bird injuries and fatalities to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. But today, we go beyond simple reporting. Our environmental and geological information systems departments recently collaborated to develop a tool to track and map avian events and nests. The Avian Tracking Tool uses statistics to assign risk levels to line segments and structures on our system. We use this information to identify areas where incidents, including bird fatalities from collisions and electrocutions, occur. With this information, we can plan for appropriate protection measures when designing new projects, rebuilding existing lines or performing maintenance on our system. Overall, these efforts will help reduce the number of avian interactions with our transmission lines and facilities, and in turn help reduce avian caused outages.

As the nation’s first multi-state, transmission-only utility, ATC has a single focus: transmission. We have a track record of innovation and technical proficiency, including broad experience building, maintaining and operating 69,000-volt electric systems as transmission. In addition to the Avian Tracking Tool, we also have extensive experience implementing other groundbreaking technologies, such as the first HVDC back-to-back flow-control device in the nation; and we recently developed Solo-Driver, a new method for installing steel poles at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

So if you’re looking to own or develop transmission or maintain aging assets, look no further than ATC for an experienced partner you can rely on. Contact us to discuss how a transmission partnership could work.