NStar and Northeast Utilities have won federal approval to pipe water-generated electricity from Quebec into the region using a new transmission line that could cost up to $1 billion.
Initial funding for the 1,200- megawatt line will come from the two utilities, which operate the Western Massachusetts Electric Co. as part of a multistate system serving more than two million customers.
The water-generated electricity would be provided by the Canadian utility Hydro-Quebec, which would pay for project costs in exchange for access to the line. The water-generated electricity is expected to eventually displace use of electricity generated by gas-fired power plants, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated four to six million tons of carbon dioxide a year.
(By Erin Ailworth, Globe staff)