ITC files application in Canada for power line under Lake Erie

ITC Lake Erie Connector LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp., announced May 26 that it has filed a major permit application with Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) for the ITC Lake Erie Connector transmission line.

The ITC Lake Erie Connector is a 1,000 MW, bi-directional, High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) merchant transmission line that will provide the first direct link between the markets of the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and PJM Interconnection. The ITC Lake Erie Connector will enable transmission customers to more efficiently access energy, capacity, and renewable energy credit opportunities in both markets.

“The bi-directional design of this transmission line means that electricity can flow into Ontario from a new route, helping improve the security and reliability of the power grid, and the line also could potentially play a role in emergency grid restoration in the province,” said Terry Harvill, vice president of International and Merchant Development for ITC Holdings. “The Lake Erie Connector would also provide Ontario with access to a new market to export its excess supply of energy.”

In addition to this filing with the NEB, ITC is preparing a permit application with the U.S. Department of Energy in order to obtain a Presidential Permit necessary for international border-crossing projects, as well as a joint application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. ITC continues to perform detailed engineering work and marine and land studies in support of the project.

The ITC Lake Erie Connector is a +/- 320 kV HVDC bi-directional transmission line, approximately 73 miles in length, that will interconnect with converter stations located in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Nanticoke, Ontario. A 345-kV (AC) underground transmission line will connect the Erie converter station to the existing Pennsylvania Electric Erie West Substation, while a 500 kV (AC) line will interconnect the Nanticoke converter station to Hydro One Networks Inc.‘s Nanticoke Transformer Station. The majority of the transmission line either will be buried beneath Lake Erie or underground using existing roadway rights-of-way.

ITC anticipates receiving all state, federal, and provincial permits for the ITC Lake Erie Connector by the second quarter of 2017, the commencement of construction in 2017, and commercial operation in 2019.

ITC will commence an open solicitation for transmission capacity on the ITC Lake Erie connector beginning in late June. ITC has retained The Brattle Group to serve as an Independent Solicitation Manager to oversee the open solicitation process. If, through the open solicitation process, it becomes evident that the transmission line could be oversubscribed, ITC will explore opportunities to increase its capacity. If increasing the capacity is not feasible, ITC will allocate capacity to those customers who value it most highly, as reflected by a customer’s offered rates, terms, and conditions.

ITC Holdings (NYSE: ITC) is the largest independent electric transmission company in the United States. Based in Novi, Michigan, ITC invests in the electric transmission grid to improve reliability, expand access to markets, lower the overall cost of delivered energy and allow new generating resources to interconnect to its transmission systems. Through its regulated operating subsidiaries – ITC Transmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Co., ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains – ITC owns and operates high-voltage transmission facilities in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, serving a combined peak load exceeding 26,000 MW along approximately 15,600 circuit miles of transmission line.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.