Muskrat Falls could be a catalyst for more regional co-operation on electricity, says a new study by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.

The paper, released Thursday, concludes that transmission links being built for the $6.9-billion hydro project in Labrador should spur the Atlantic provinces and their electrical utilities to work together more.

Gordon Weil, the think-tank’s senior fellow on electricity policy, said power line expansion — including the $1.5-billion Maritime Link — could be used to make the region’s grid more efficient and less expensive to operate.

“The transmission associated with Muskrat Falls creates the opportunity for improved regional co-operation, ” Weil said in an interview from Harpswell, Maine.

The hydro project’s backers say the benefits of the ratepayer-funded link include better transmission capacity and more options for electricity imports.

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