HVDC Merchant Transmission Project to Create First Direct Connection Between Canada IESO and United States PJM Markets
NOVI, Mich., May 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- ITC Lake Erie Connector LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp., the largest independent electricity transmission company in the United States, today announced it has filed a major permit application with Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) for the ITC Lake Erie Connector transmission line.
The ITC Lake Erie Connector is a proposed 1000 MW, bi-directional, High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) merchant transmission line that will provide the first direct link between the markets of the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) and PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM). The ITC Lake Erie Connector will enable transmission customers to more efficiently access energy, capacity, and renewable energy credit opportunities in both markets.
"The bi-directional design of this transmission line means that electricity can flow into Ontario from a new route, helping improve the security and reliability of the power grid, and the line also could potentially play a role in emergency grid restoration in the province," said Terry Harvill, Ph.D., vice president of International and Merchant Development, ITC Holdings Corp. "The Lake Erie Connector would also provide Ontario with access to a new market to export its excess supply of energy," said Dr. Harvill.
ITC's application to the National Energy Board is available through the project website at www.itclakeerieconnector.com. In addition to this filing with the NEB, ITC is preparing a permit application with the U.S. Department of Energy in order to obtain a Presidential Permit necessary for international border-crossing projects, as well as a joint application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. ITC continues to perform detailed engineering work and marine and land studies in support of the project. The company has held or participated in consultation events in Nanticoke, Ontario and public meetings in Erie County, Pennsylvania 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.
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.
About ITC Holdings Corp.
ITC Holdings Corp. (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. Through its regulated operating subsidiaries ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Company, ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains, ITC owns and operates high-voltage transmission facilities in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, serving a combined peak load exceeding 26,000 megawatts along approximately 15,600 circuit miles of transmission line. ITC's grid development focus includes growth through regulated infrastructure investment as well as domestic and international expansion through merchant and other commercial development opportunities. For more information, please visit ITC's website at www.itc-holdings.com.
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SOURCE ITC Holdings Corp.