Thursday, June 23, 2016

Introducing the falcon 'Class of 2016'

The peregrine falcon nesting season has drawn to a close at We Energies power plants. Hatchlings at four of our sites have fledged, leaving empty nest boxes behind.

This season, we saw 10 chicks born at our power plants. The total was lower than recent years due to some eggs failing to hatch, including those at Valley Power Plant. Also, with the April sale of Milwaukee County Power Plant (MCPP) to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center, chicks born at MCPP are no longer part of our total. 

Once again, the public was able to follow the falcons through a live webcam feed at The feed is no longer active, but hourly photos remain available from all five company nest boxes.

With the addition of this year’s chicks, the total number of peregrines born at We Energies power plants stands at 233. Nearly 20 percent of Wisconsin’s peregrine population has come from company nesting sites.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

New online outage reporting tool

We have now made it possible to report power outages online with a new outage reporting tool.

You can access the tool here.

We’re listening to you

Customers have been requesting online and mobile options, which often are their preferred channels. This new tool works on smartphones, tablets and computers.

The mobile-friendly design allows you to report electric outages and obtain information about your outage from any device connected to the internet.

The tool allows you to:

  • Report an outage or flickering lights by entering your account number and ZIP code or phone number and ZIP code
  • Obtain the status of your outage
  • Request after-hours callbacks for information about your outage

Once the outage is reported and known, you can go online and view details, such as:

  • Estimated time of restoration
  • Cause of the outage
  • Status of a We Energies crew working on the outage
Remember to use the phone number registered to your account. If you’re not sure what number is linked to your account, call us at 800-242-9137.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Talk about an unbearable situation…

We often tell you stories about our employees encountering dangerous or unusual situations in the field. Just last week, we shared the story of Brian Tabbert, a troubleshooter who came across a choking woman and helped save her life. 

The bear kept an eye on Asplundh crews 
in Wausaukee.
Work can be equally unpredictable for our utility partners. Asplundh Tree Expert Co., our tree trimming contractor was asked to help our sister company Wisconsin Public Service after last weekend’s storms in northern Wisconsin. 

A tree was leaning into a power line and about to fall onto a house near Wausaukee in Marinette County. The crew was prepared to work on the issue when they found an unexpected occupant – a bear!

Luckily, she moved to a different tree so the crew could do their work; however, she kept a close eye on things because she had three cubs nearby to protect. Fortunately, workers didn’t lose their bearings and completed their job quickly so momma bear could get back to tending her young.    

Friday, June 10, 2016

Planting the gardens at Energy Park

We are prepping Energy Park for your arrival Aug. 4-14 at the Wisconsin State Fair. Energy Park is located on the west side of the fair grounds on Wetley Way at Center Street. It’s an area that provides energy education for young and old.

This week, we gathered to clean up and prepare the gardens for fairgoers. Melinda Myers, our garden expert for the fair, along with volunteers from various landscape and greenhouse companies in Wisconsin, tilled, planted and planned a beautiful garden to share with you.

“Fairgoers can see energy-saving landscape ideas, and ways to grow vegetables, whether you have a small or large garden,” said Myers, who is featured at Energy Park gardening shows two times daily, all 11 days of the fair.

This year, Myers is featuring pollinator plants. Animals such as birds, bees and butterflies transfer pollen between flowers to fertilize them for successful full-bodied plants. Myers will show fairgoers how to create this habitat for you and the pollinators to enjoy.

Some of Myers favorite pollinator plants are salvia plants, such as Wendy’s Wish. It’s a big, beautiful, bold salvia plant that will be sure to bring in hummingbirds. She also says she will be using State Fair zinnia, which seems very fitting for the fair. She says it’s a plant butterflies love.

Another new item this year will be a plantable bar. Myers will show Energy Park visitors how to grow this garden and turn it into a place to pluck those herbs for your cocktails at home.

Myers and We Energies thank the following for the beautification of Energy Park: Ebert’s Greenhouse Village, Milorganite, Bonnie Plants, Crawford Tree & Landscaping Services Inc., ALCS Landscape Maintenance and Terra-Firma Landscape Inc.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Quick-thinking employee saves choking woman

We Energies Troubleshooter Brian Tabbert.
We Energies Troubleshooter Brian Tabbert was honored by the Greenfield Fire Department for his heroic actions in saving a woman’s life.

Tabbert was at a routine call near 27th Street and Cold Spring Road in Greenfield Saturday morning when he noticed a motorist frantically waving bystanders down. He knew something was not right, and he rushed to their aid. A woman was choking on food that had lodged in her throat and eventually became unconscious. Tabbert immediately began life-saving measures on the woman.

“There wasn’t really any time to worry about anything,” he said. He began giving the woman the Heimlich maneuver but was unable to dislodge the food. He checked the woman for a pulse, and he was not able to find one. Two nurses also stopped and assisted him with CPR. As the Greenfield Fire Department arrived, the woman was up and talking.

“We wanted to highlight something great in our community and an outcome that was nearly perfect,” said Greenfield Fire Chief Jon Cohn at a recognition ceremony for Tabbert and the nurses. “Your willingness to stop, get involved and provide aid when family members were waving for help is appreciated and lifesaving. Your actions will inspire others to get involved and help others.”

We Energies trains many employees in basic first aid, which includes CPR.

“I’m very proud of the work that Brian and his peers do on a daily basis to keep our customers safe and in service, but I’m even more proud of him for this lifesaving act of kindness to save a life,” said Dave Megna, vice president – system operations at We Energies.

“It’s just the right thing to do, and I would expect anybody to do it for me or somebody I know,” said Tabbert.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

More than 47,000 restored after Saturday thunderstorms

June 6, 2016 clean up in Nashota.
More than 47,000 customers have been restored since strong thunderstorms and winds passed through parts of the We Energies service area Sunday evening. The storms caused extensive tree and pole damage with many wires down, making restoration more challenging.

The National Weather Service (NWS) out of Sullivan, Wisconsin, reported that a cluster of showers and thunderstorms rolled through southern Wisconsin during the late afternoon and evening on Sunday. Some strong to severe straight-line winds were embedded with that cluster. Much of the damage reported to the NWS was large, healthy trees either blown over or snapped near their bases.

We Energies crews saw many downed trees, branches and even power poles snapped in half due to those winds. Waukesha, Appleton, Kenosha and Racine areas all saw wind gusts up to 65 miles per hour.

In the town of Genesee, nine power poles snapped in half from the sheer force of these winds.

“The snapping of the poles says something about how fast these gusts happened,” explained Meteorologist Mike Westendorf from the Innovative Weather Center at UW-Milwaukee, a partner of We Energies in storm planning. “Going from 20 mph to 60 mph in the matter of a heartbeat can just snap them in half.”

Innovative Weather partners with We Energies to create detailed, real-time weather forecasts to anticipate storms that may affect our customers' power. We use those forecasts to evaluate our manpower and take stock of our inventory in the event a storm may be imminent.

Innovative Weather trains the next generation of meteorologists while providing weather-related service to partners such as We Energies.

Damage in East Troy.
Damage near Lake Beulah.
June 6, 2016, damage. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Kindergartners explain how peregrine falcons were nearly extinct

Every spring, we visit local schools to teach students about the peregrine falcons that nest at our power plants. We’re always amazed by their enthusiasm, and they ask many insightful questions, absorbing every detail about these endangered, majestic birds.

Listen to these senior kindergartners from Lincoln Elementary School in Wauwatosa explain how peregrines nearly became extinct. They really paid attention!