ITC Lake Erie Connector LLC has filed a major permit application with the U.S. Department of Energy 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 1000 MW, bi-directional, High-Voltage Direct Current merchant transmission line that will provide the first direct link between the markets of the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator 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.
"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."
ITC's application to the DOE will be available on the project website at www.itclakeerieconnector.com. 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. Additional information regarding the project is available at www.itclakeerieconnector.com.
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.
Open Solicitation Process
ITC will commence an open solicitation for transmission capacity on the ITC Lake Erie connector beginning in late June. Interested parties will be able to access an overview of the ITC Lake Erie Connector and a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) on a separate ITC Open Solicitation website. Execution of the NDA will allow interested parties to access additional information regarding the ITC Lake Erie Connector and the open solicitation process. 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.