ITC seeks permit from DOE related to power line under Lake Erie to Canada

ITC Lake Erie Connector LLC, a subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp., announced June 1 that it has filed a major permit application with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the ITC Lake Erie Connector merchant transmission line.

The purpose of the DOE filing is to obtain the Presidential Permit necessary for international border-crossing projects. The ITC Lake Erie Connector is a proposed 1,000 MW, bi-directional, High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) merchant transmission line that will provide the first direct link between the markets of Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and PJM Interconnection.

“This project will create a new energy transmission interconnection between the PJM and IESO markets, helping improve the security, reliability and capacity of these energy grids,” said Terry Harvill, Ph.D., vice president of International and Merchant Development, ITC Holdings Corp. “The Lake Erie Connector offers compelling market opportunities by providing a more direct, efficient and controllable path for energy and capacity to flow between the two systems, and it can facilitate the export of clean energy from Ontario to PJM to address potential environmental regulations and Renewable Portfolio Standard requirements in the U.S.”

This application follows a May 22 filing with Canada’s National Energy Board. ITC continues to perform detailed engineering work and marine and land studies in support of the project, and the company will submit additional environmental and other permit applications to the relevant federal, state and municipal agencies later this year. The company has held or participated in public meetings in Erie County, Pennsylvania, and consultation events in Nanticoke, Ontario, to discuss the project and gather community input.

The ITC Lake Erie Connector is +/- 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 Alternating Current (AC) underground transmission line will connect the Erie converter station to the existing Penelec 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 Q2 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 the capacity of the ITC Lake Erie Connector. 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.

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.