American Transmission Co. projects

Project website for a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates the high-voltage electric transmission system that powers communities in portions of the Upper Midwest.

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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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American Transmission Co. is a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates the electric transmission system in portions of the Upper Midwest. Formed in 2001 as the nation’s first multi-state transmission-only utility, ATC has invested to improve the adequacy and reliability of its infrastructure. ATC now has $5 billion in assets, including more than 9,890 miles of transmission lines and 568 substations. The company is a member of the MISO regional transmission organization, and provides nondiscriminatory service to all customers, supporting effective competition in energy markets without favoring any market participant. For more information, visit our website at

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