American Transmission Co. projects

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Helicopter, air saw to be used for tree trimming

Ground access to power line corridor presents difficulties

DE PERE,Wis.–  A helicopter and heavy-duty air saw will be used to trim trees along a 23-mile transmission line corridor between substations in Houghton and Elm River Township in Houghton County beginning Aug. 15.

“The remote nature of the transmission line corridor makes it very difficult to access with ground crews,” says Janssen Baij, maintenance engineer for American Transmission Co. in Kingsford. “The helicopter and air saw can perform trimming in a few hours; a  ground-based crew might take several days to accomplish the same amount of work in difficult terrain.”

ATC has contracted with Aerial Solutions, Inc., based in Tabor City, N.C., to perform the work. The company uses McDonnell Douglas helicopters equipped with a 24-horsepower saw with multiple rotary blades suspended on a 90-foot vertical boom.

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 9,440 miles of transmission lines in five-year cycles.

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Formed in 2001 as the nation’s first multi-state transmission-only utility, American Transmission Co. is a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates 10,081 miles of electric transmission lines and 582 substations in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Our transmission network enables the movement of electricity produced from all forms of generation resources to areas where it is needed – helping to keep the lights on, businesses running and communities strong. Visit our website at

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