Community input sought on Lake Erie Connector Project

Community input is now being sought on a massive electrical line spanning from Ontario to Pennsylvannia under Lake Erie.

Known as the Lake Erie Connector Project, the line has the potential to bring Six Nations about $40 million in revenue over 40 years depending on whether or not the community agrees to the accommodations being offered by ITC Investment Holdings.

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation will hold the consultation sessions online for community input.

Calling it a “virtual investment review of the Lake Erie Connector project (LEC project)”, the sessions will take place from Mar. 1 to Apr. 30.

There will be 10 virtual sessions for community members to learn more about the project and understand options for participation.

Dillon Consulting Ltd. will facilitate the virtual sessions and provide an independent report capturing the dialogue with the community.

The LEC project is a bi-directional electricity cable being developed by ITC Investment Holdings Inc. as a solution to help address what it says are inefficiencies in Ontario’s Power Grid.

SNGRDC is conducting an in-depth investment review and is asking the Six Nations community to join the discussion, ask questions and provide comments. The project will include a connection to the Ontario grid at the former Nanticoke Generating Station, an electricity converter station located across the road and installation of an underground cable from the converter station along Haldimand Road 55 leading to Lake Erie.

The cable will be directionally drilled under the shore to avoid shoreline impacts, out into Lake Erie where a marine crew will lay the cable across to Erie, Pennsylvania. Any excess of electricity generated in Ontario will be sold to the United States and vice-versa. A preliminary term sheet contained an offer of $40 million to Six Nations over a minimum 45-year lifespan of the project.

“The LEC project will be constructed at no cost to hydro ratepayers, will create local employment opportunities, and will create energy system efficiencies and resiliency,” SNGRDC said in a press release. “Based on the investment review outcome, the LEC project could prove to be an attractive opportunity for Six Nations participation. The intent of the investment review period is to provide transparency to the Six Nations community by publicly disclosing project and investment details.”

It will be the first community consultation in almost two years, ever since a worldwide pandemic was declared in March 2020.

Community members are invited to participate during the commentary period and are being asked to submit their questions to info@snfuture.ca or by visiting www.snfuture.com to register for a weekly webinar.

SNGRDC says, “there is a tight timeline for this investment review, so it is critical that we hear from our community.”

Community feedback will be captured in a final report to be presented to the Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council.

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