The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved the Lake Erie Connector Project (project), an international power line that will be buried under Lake Erie and transfer electricity between Ontario and Pennsylvania. In making its decision that this project is in the public interest, the NEB imposed 42 conditions on ITC Lake Erie LLC (proponent), covering a wide range of topics such as environmental protection, safety and socio-economic matters.
The Lake Erie Connector Project is an approximately 117-kilometre 1,000 megawatt ±320 kilovolt high-voltage direct current bi‑directional electric transmission interconnection, plus associated facilities to transfer electricity between Nanticoke, Haldimand County, Ontario and Erie County, Pennsylvania, United States of America crossing Lake Erie.
The estimated capital cost for the 49-kilometre Canadian portion of the project is $543.5 million. The proponent estimates that project construction in Ontario will generate $21.4 million in employment income, $38.2 million in gross domestic product, $8.8 million in government tax revenues, and a total of 331 jobs.
With the conditions and the proponent’s commitments, the NEB concluded that the project is unlikely to have significant adverse environmental effects. The NEB also determined that the project would provide benefits to Indigenous, local, regional, and provincial economies, allow greater flexibility for two large energy markets to meet changing energy needs, and increase market efficiency for Ontario and its rate payers.
This decision follows a public hearing that included a thorough scientific and technical examination of the evidence brought forth by the proponent and participants. The NEB is satisfied with the proponent’s consultation program with Indigenous groups and commitment for ongoing consultation throughout the project’s lifecycle.
The project will be the first direct interconnection between the Independent Electricity System Operator market in Ontario and the PJM Interconnection LLC electricity market, which coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in 13 states and the District of Columbia (representing over 61 million people).