ITC Lake Erie Connector LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of ITC Holdings (NYSE:ITC), on Feb. 1 announced that it has filed a joint permit application with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in support of the ITC Lake Erie Connector merchant transmission line.
The ITC Lake Erie Connector is a proposed 1,000 MW, bi-directional, High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) submarine 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.
"We are pleased with the expressions of interest we received in the non-binding open solicitation process that concluded in August, and we are now in bilateral negotiations for line capacity with prospective counterparties," said Terry Harvill, vice president of International and Merchant Development for ITC Holdings.
ITC also has submitted major applications to the U.S. Department of Energy (filed May 2015) and Canada’s National Energy Board (also filed May 2015). The company has completed detailed engineering work and marine and land studies in support of the project and 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 and Nanticoke. A 345-kV Alternating Current (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.
Assuming ITC is successful in executing favorable Transmission Service Agreements over the course of the next several months, the company anticipates receiving federal, state and provincial permits by the second quarter of 2017. ITC would commence construction around that time, with commercial operation expected in 2019.