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May 24, 2021

Appalaches–Maine Interconnection Line approved by CER

The Canada Energy Regulator has approved an interconnection line project that will deliver 1,200MW of hydroelectricity to New England.

By Umesh Ellichipuram

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) has granted a permit for the construction and operation of Hydro-Québec’s Appalaches–Maine Interconnection Line project.

The interconnection line will be linked to the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) line, for which construction works are in progress.

In April, Hydro-Québec secured approval from the Government of Québec for the Appalaches–Maine Interconnection Line project.

Hydro-Québec president and CEO Sophie Brochu said: “This green light recognises the significant work carried out to date by our teams and our partners in the communities.

“We are going ahead with a project that respects the highest environmental and engineering standards and that has been favourably received by the various host communities.”

All permits are now in place for constructing the transmission line from Saint-Adrien-d’Irlande, Québec, to the city of Lewiston, Maine.

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Construction works are expected to begin in the coming weeks, with commissioning due for 2023.

Upon completion, the Appalaches–Maine–NECEC line will deliver 1,200MW of hydroelectricity from Québec to New England.

Over a 20-year period, the interconnection line will supply 9.45TWh of clean hydropower a year to Massachusetts and 0.5TWh a year to Maine.

The clean energy will help the two US states offset more than three million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

In Québec, the line route will extend for 100km between the Appalaches substation in Saint-Adrien-d’Irlande and a connection point in Frontenac, Estrie, on the Québec–Maine border. The Maine line route is 233km long.

The project will also involve installing a converter at Appalaches substation, which will convert alternating current to direct current to supply the interconnection.

Last year, the project was reviewed by the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE), Québec’s office for public hearings on the environment.

In a report released on 4 December, BAPE said that the proposed line route was acceptable from an environmental standpoint and that the electricity transmitted would help decarbonise Maine and Massachusetts’ economies.

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