Canada's Energy Board Gives Recommendation for Lake Erie Connector Project

Canada's Energy Board Gives Recommendation for Lake Erie Connector Project

HVDC Contracted Transmission Project to Create First Direct Connection Between Canada IESO and United States PJM Electricity Markets

ITC Lake Erie Connector has received a Report from Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) recommending issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the ITC Lake Erie Connector transmission line.

The ITC Lake Erie Connector is a proposed 1,000 MW, bi-directional, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) underwater transmission line that would provide the first direct link between the markets of the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM). The project would enable transmission customers to more efficiently access energy, capacity and renewable energy credit opportunities in both markets.

"This is a significant step in our progress to develop the ITC Lake Erie Connector, and we appreciate the thorough review of our application by the National Energy Board," said Terry Harvill, Ph.D., president, ITC Grid Development.  "This new energy transmission interconnection between the IESO and PJM markets would provide Ontario with access to a new, large export market for excess electricity generation, and in turn this bi-directional line would allow less expensive, clean energy to flow into the province from the U.S. This project also would help improve the security, reliability and capacity of the respective electricity grids," said Dr. Harvill.

The NEB's Report can be viewed on the project website at www.itclakeerieconnector.com. The NEB's recommendation is now before Canada's Governor in Council for final approval of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, with a decision expected on or before April 19, 2017.

Project Status
In addition to the recommended approval from Canada's National Energy Board, the company has received approval of a Presidential Permit from the U.S. Department of Energy, which is necessary for international border-crossing projects.  Remaining milestones in the project this year include receiving approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection in a joint application, completing project cost refinements and securing favorable transmission service agreements with prospective counterparties, after which ITC would proceed with construction with the goal to place the project in service in late 2020.

ITC has completed the necessary system impact studies in IESO and PJM, signed service agreements with the manufacturers of the converter stations and the submarine cable, and secured nearly all land necessary for the terrestrial cable route, converter stations and construction laydown areas.  The company has held or participated in numerous public consultations in Ontario and Pennsylvania – the respective terrestrial points of the line – to discuss the project and gather community input.

Project Specifications
The ITC Lake Erie Connector is a proposed +/- 320 kV HVDC bi-directional transmission line, approximately 73 miles in length, that would interconnect with converter stations located in Erie, Pennsylvania and Nanticoke, Ontario.  A 345kV alternating current (AC) underground transmission line would connect the Erie converter station to Penelec's existing Erie West substation, while a 500kV AC line would tie the Nanticoke converter station to Hydro One's Nanticoke substation. The majority of the transmission line would be buried beneath Lake Erie or underground using existing roadway rights-of-way.

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