ITC wins DOE permit for Lake Erie transmission project

A DOE Presidential Permit is required for international border-crossing projects

Content Dam Pennenergy Online Articles 2017 01 Transmission Line

ITC Lake Erie Connector, a unit of ITC Holdings Corp., an independent electricity transmission company, won approval of a Presidential Permit from the U.S. Department of Energy for the ITC Lake Erie Connector transmission line.

A DOE Presidential Permit is required for international border-crossing projects.

The ITC Lake Erie Connector is a proposed 1,000 MW, bi-directional, high-voltage direct current underwater transmission line that would provide the first direct link between the markets of the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator and PJM Interconnection. 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 development of the ITC Lake Erie Connector, and we appreciate the DOE's judicious response to our application," said Terry Harvill, Ph.D., president, ITC Grid Development. "This project would provide a direct, efficient and controllable path for energy and capacity to flow between the PJM and IESO systems. By facilitating the import and export of energy between the U.S. and Ontario, the line can help optimize renewable resources and satisfy renewable energy requirements in the U.S. In addition, the Lake Erie Connector would help improve the security, reliability and capacity of these energy grids," said Dr. Harvill.

The DOE Presidential Permit can be viewed on the project website at http://www.itclakeerieconnector.com/.

Remaining milestones in the project this year include receiving additional major permits from Canada's National Energy Board, 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.

The ITC Lake Erie Connector is a proposed +/- 320 kV HVDC bi-directional transmission line, about 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.

More in Transmission & Distribution