American Transmission Co. recently wrapped up reliability improvements to the electric transmission system that serves portions of Racine and Kenosha in Wisconsin. Approximately $5 million was spent to install optical ground wire, modify structures, replace insulators and upgrade substation equipment. In addition, ATC is conducting vegetation management activities to remove incompatible vegetation in the project area to ensure the safety and reliability of the line. This work is expected to conclude in spring 2011.

Some of the components, including insulators and protective equipment on portions of the 138,000-V transmission system, had been in service more than 70 years. “This type of equipment is built to last many decades, and it generally has performed well,” said project manager Mike Kamarainen. “But the deteriorating condition, including rust and corrosion, meant the time had come to replace and retire a number of components.”

According to Kamarainen, periodic outages have been a problem in recent years. “The completion of this project allows ATC to provide direct connectivity to its control centers and helps strengthen electric reliability in the Racine and Kenosha areas,” he added. “The vegetation work adds another level of safety and reliability to the system in the area.”