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Maritime Link sends first electricity between Newfoundland, Nova Scotia

A cable reel aboard the cable-laying vessel Nexans Skagerrak is shown in Argentia, N.L. in a handout photo in April.
A cable reel aboard the cable-laying vessel Nexans Skagerrak is shown in Argentia, N.L. in a handout photo in April. The Canadian Press/Hand out

For the first time, electricity has been sent between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia through the new Maritime Link.

The 500-megawatt transmission line was tested Friday, but won’t go into commercial operation until early in the New Year.

READ MORE: Subsea electric cable linking Newfoundland and Nova Scotia now connected

Rick Janega, the CEO of Emera Newfoundland and Labrador, calls the test an historic accomplishment and the culmination of almost seven years of work.

The project includes two 170-kilometre subsea cables across the Cabot Strait, with almost 50 kilometres of overland transmission in Nova Scotia and more than 300 kilometres of overland transmission in Newfoundland.

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Once in service, the link will improve electrical interconnections between the Atlantic provinces and connect Newfoundland to the North American energy grid for the first time.

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The link will eventually carry power from the Muskrat Falls hydro project in Labrador, where construction is running behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget.