MONTREAL -- The Quebec government has approved construction of the Appalaches--Maine Interconnection Line project to export Hydro-Quebec power to New England.

The project will increase the exchange capacity between Quebec and Maine by 1,200 megawatts.

It will connect with the New England Clean Energy Connect project and supply Massachusetts with 9.45 terawatt-hours and Maine with 0.5 TWh of Quebec power per year for 20 years.

Hydro-Quebec says the decision follows a 20-month environmental assessment process.

The project still requires approval by the Canada Energy Regulator because the power line is part of a transborder initiative.

A CER ruling is expected in the spring, which would allow work to begin soon after. Commissioning is expected in 2023.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 14, 2021.