ITC still “working out details” around incorporating phase angle regulators

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Feb. 24 approved ITC Holdings’ (NYSE:ITC) request to undertake a phase angle regulator (PAR) power transmission project on the Michigan-Ontario border, a project which could save millions in electric costs.

“We have commenced the activities necessary to place the PARs in service, which we anticipate will occur in the second quarter of this year,” ITC Michigan president Gregory Ioanidis said in a statement provided to TransmissionHub on Mar. 2. 

Placing the PARs into service will improve reliability for electricity customers in the Lake Erie region by mitigating unscheduled flows of electric power, according to the company. 

Other details are still being worked out, a company spokesperson told TransmissionHub.

Lake Erie loop flows have been the subject of considerable discussion and study since they began being exploited for profit in 2008.

In its initial Lake Erie Loop Flow filing with FERC in July 2008 (Docket No. ER08-1281-000) the New York ISO (NYISO) explained that because ISOs and RTOs “had not implemented technologies to control how the power flows over the Lake Erie interface, the power actually flowed over the path of least resistance rather than the scheduled path, and therefore the circuitous scheduling was causing market distortions and increasing congestion and uplift costs.”

NYISO asserted that beginning in January 2008, an increasing number of transactions were being scheduled by a number of market participants around Lake Erie so that they would supposedly exit NYISO, be wheeled through the Independent Electricity System Operator of Ontario (IESO), and the Midwest ISO, and sink in PJM.  

In that filing, NYISO said the number of transactions increased from almost nothing in January 2008 to more than 1,000 MW in some hours in April 2008 and more than 2,000 MW in some hours in May and June 2008.

NYISO determined that market participants were scheduling transactions in circuitous routes around Lake Erie to take advantage of differences in the way RTOs/ISOs price transactions that exit their systems.