OTTAWA—On June 23, the federal government announced its approval of the National Energy Board’s decision to issue a certificate for the Lake Erie Connector project, subject to 42 binding conditions.
The project is a 1,000-megawatt, two-way underwater transmission line, measuring about 117 kilometres, which will travel under Lake Erie—from Nanticoke in south western Ontario to a terminus near Erie, Pa.—and provide the first direct electricity link between Ontario and Pennsylvania.
ITC Lake Erie Connector LLC is responsible for the project, which aims to increase trade in electricity between Canada and the U.S. This firm is a subsidiary of ITC Holdings Corp., the largest independent electricity transmission company in the U.S, itself owned by utility giant Fortis Inc.
The transmission line will connect the markets of the Ontario Independent Electricity System Operator and PJM Interconnection LLC in Pennsylvania, and is expected to be in service by 2020.
The $544-million Canadian portion of the project is expected create 331 jobs during construction.
The National Energy Board issued its recommendation to approve the transmission line to the federal government in January 2017, and Natural Resources Canada says the government considered both the NEB review of the project and consultations with Indigenous peoples when making its final decision.
“Canada is a country with a wide range of natural resources, and as we move to a low-carbon future, electricity will have an increasingly larger role. Projects like the Lake Erie Connector project are tangible examples of how Canada is demonstrating that the environment and the economy go hand in hand,” said Jim Carr, federal minister of Natural Resources.