Included in the last minute flurry of activity by agencies of the Obama administration, the DOE has issued a presidential permit authorizing the ITC Lake Erie Connector.
… the EPA is forcing power plants off line so fast without making any provisions for replacement power that our grid is quickly becoming weak and short of the necessary power to meet demand, so we’re running an extension cord to Canada to get the electricity we need.
County officials in the dark
The power line will come ashore in western Erie County, though county officials have said little about it, which may be the result of having little information or understanding of the project itself. At a Girard Township meeting in July, as reported in an article in the West County News-Journal, supervisors were asked a series of questions about the project and why they supported it. Sandy Anderson said, “It’s a project not just for us.” She also said she is in favor of progress and working to generate more electricity for the future. Bill Felege said “For security, for the electricity system and for the nation itself.” Paul Pangratz said, “I’m sure for the amount of money being spent, there has got to be a good reason for it.” These answers would lead a disinterested observer to wonder if the supervisors have done any research into this project at all. That same article said the township was being paid $2000 for the initial proposal, $5000 when the project begins and $5603 annually thereafter, for a major international power line project, owned by Fortis of Canada and GIC of Singapore.
Again, as we noted before:
… this cable connecting to our grid, running through Lake Erie and into Erie County is totally controlled by investors and organizations outside the US. The economic benefits will be going to foreign investors, not Erie County residents.
This project would not even be under consideration if not for an overreaching EPA which, under the incoming Trump administration, is likely to change direction. The Clean Power Plan which is the EPA’s justification for many of their recent moves, was halted by the Supreme Court because the EPA assumed powers beyond their authority. Erie County would do well to quickly reexamine whether this project should be undertaken at all, but judging from past experience, …
Source: Permit granted to ITC Connector
Update and additional information
As noted by Tom in the comments below, this permit can be revoked by the President of the United States at any time:
Article 1. The facilities herein described shall be subject to all conditions, provisions and requirements of this Permit. This Permit may be modified or revoked by the President of the United States without notice, or by DOE after notice, and may be amended by DOE after proper application thereto.
What ITC Holdings says about the permit
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.
What the permit actually says
… the facilities described in Article 2 shall be operated in such a manner that the scheduled rate of transmission of electric energy north to south entering the United States over the facilities operated herein shall not exceed 1,000 MW for both summer and winter periods into the Penelec Erie West Substation. The facilities are approved for south to north transfer, but entities seeking to do so would require an electricity export authorization pursuant to section 202 (e) of the Federal Power Act.
When Mr Harvill says the line will be “facilitating the import and export of energy between the U.S. and Ontario,” perhaps he was just exhibiting a bit of irrational exuberance over the Department of Energy’s unexpected issuance of this permit, because this power line is not about import and export of electricity, it’s a one way street, from Canada to the US, intended to make up for the loss of electricity on our grid due to the actions of an overzealous EPA. We hope the new administration revokes this permit so the United States can get back into the business of generating our own power which we are more than capable of doing.