Transforming the network today for tomorrow’s sustainable energy future.

It’s been 20 years since ATC was formed. The energy landscape has evolved significantly since then – both across our service area and throughout United States. As we monitor these changes, our core effort remains focused on electric reliability. We achieve high ratings for our reliability through system planning designs that accommodate our customers and the developing generation base, while also maintaining aging assets in cost-effective ways.

More than 2,200 megawatts of fossil-fueled generation have been retired within the ATC service area since 2018, and utilities within our footprint over the last two years have announced plans to retire an additional 2,600 MW. Nine percent of energy consumed within ATC’s service area derived from renewable resources in 2020 and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator expects that to increase to 25% by 2035. Generation developers and local utilities are driving this increase as they work to meet renewable energy and public policy goals, invoking an all-time high number of interconnection requests for renewable energy resources. In our role as a Transmission Owner and a contractor for MISO, ATC performs system impact and reliability studies, and develops network upgrades to maintain a reliable transmission network. The transition to renewable resources is progressing rapidly and ATC is working diligently to support the end-use customer schedules and interconnection requests.

Battery energy storage, for example, is being proposed more frequently as a resource in the market. But ATC also is using this technology to address transmission needs. Our forthcoming Waupaca Area Storage Project in Waupaca, Wis., which is expected to be in service in late 2022, is the first Storage as Transmission Only Asset in the MISO footprint. This device, which is the lower cost alternative to traditional solutions, will help relieve high thermal loading, control voltage and real power flow, and allow greater operational flexibility for planned and unplanned outages.

Static synchronous compensators (STATCOMs) and other voltage control devices are also being evaluated for additional implementation on our system. These devices eliminate manual adjustments for operators and instead use electronics to automatically and dynamically maintain voltage.

ATC also is considering new ways electricity is being used, how to assist our utility customers in accommodating this new load, and how to leverage and maximize the use of the transmission system. For instance, we are tracking developments related to the electrification of commercial truck and bus fleets and are poised to support utilities as this transition occurs in our footprint.

While we work to carefully balance the planning and new infrastructure across our system, the lifecycle of our existing assets requires diligent oversight and efficiently scheduled maintenance as well.

Aging infrastructure remains the primary driver for approximately 50% of our capital projects. Significant investments in our infrastructure are required to address deteriorating wooden poles, along with substation equipment initially installed decades ago that is approaching end-of-life.

New fiber optic wire upgrades and installations continue to help our operators more reliably monitor the status of our grid and address unplanned and planned outages, along with other potential issues.

As one team, we’re committed to our customers and all energy consumers within our footprint, focusing on electric reliability. With our owners, customers, contractors and employees, ATC is enhancing a regional grid today that transforms tomorrow’s sustainable energy future.

Transmission investments

Projections from past and current Transmission System Assessments

Specific Network Projects$0.7B/$1.0B$0.5B$0.4B$0.4B $0.6B
Regional Multi-Value Projects$0.4B$0.3B$0.2B$0.2B $0.2B
MISO Long Range Transmission Plan----$0.0B
Asset Maintenance$1.4B$1.5B$1.7B$1.8B $2.2B
Other Capital Categories$0.3B/$0.8B$0.5/$1.1B$0.6B/$1.3B$0.5B/$1.1B $0.5B/$1.2B
Total 10-Year Capital Cost$2.8B/$3.6B$2.8/$3.4B$2.9B/$3.6B$2.9B/$3.5B $3.5B/$4.2B
Jim Vespalec

Director, Asset Planning & Engineering

Andy Dolan

Vice President of System Planning