(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — Economic fears may have claimed a fresh casualty — the proposed Lake Erie Connector project has been suspended.
The project would have created a 72-mile direct current line from Pennsylvania to Ontario, Canada. The plan was to send the current through an underwater cable in Lake Erie.
Given the current economic conditions, ITC Holdings Corp., the company behind the proposed project, has put it on hold.
“ITC made the decision to suspend the project after determining there is not a viable path to achieve successful negotiations and other requirements within the required project schedule. External conditions – including rising inflation, interest rates, and fluctuations in the U.S.-to-Canadian foreign exchange rate – would prevent the company from coming to a customer agreement that would sufficiently capture both the benefits and the costs of the project,” an ITC spokesperson said in a prepared media statement. “As a result, the company believes suspending the project is in the best interest of stakeholders.”
The direct current line would have connected 1,000 megawatts of power between Ontario and Erie. Site work was expected to begin in 2023.
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ITC Holdings acquired the rights to the Lake Eire Connector from Lake Erie Power Corp in June 2014. The project reportedly came with a $1 billion price tag in 2015. This is not the first delay to the project — in a 2015 story on www.YourErie.com, the project had been slated to begin in 2016 and completed by 2019.