Electricity Markets

Agreement keeps Conn. nuclear plant online for another 10 years

Dominion Energy and Connecticut’s two investor-owned electric utility companies, Eversource and United Illuminating, on March 15 unveiled an agreement under which the 2,100-megawatt Millstone nuclear power plant in Connecticut will remain online under a 10-year, 9 million megawatt hours per year agreement.

Dominion, the owner of Millstone, had until March 15 to inform ISO New England if it would retire the Millstone station, according to a Reuters report. With that deadline approaching, Dominion had been negotiating Eversource and United Illuminating “for coming up with a long-term contract to purchase Millstone’s power,” the Hartford Courant reported.

Millstone is Connecticut’s lone nuclear power plant.

The ten-year agreement between Dominion and the Connecticut utilities will now advance to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority for review.

In a news release, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said that the agreement will ensure that Connecticut “can continue its progress toward significant economy-wide greenhouse gas reductions of 45 percent below 2001 levels required by the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act.”

DEEP and PURA previously determined that the Millstone units were at risk of early retirement based on Millstone’s disclosed financial statements and insufficient projected energy market revenues from an increasingly gas-dominated market.

New England governors commit to evaluate regional mechanisms

Lamont on March 15 also announced a commitment from all New England governors “to evaluate regional mechanisms to help maintain critical nuclear and clean energy facilities.”

The New England governors “commit to work together, in coordination with ISO New England and through the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE), to evaluate market-based mechanisms that value the contribution that existing nuclear generation resources make to regional energy security and winter reliability,” the governors said.

“In addition, to the extent a state’s policies prioritize clean energy resources, those states commit to work together on a mechanism or mechanisms to value the important attributes of those resources, while ensuring consumers in any one state do not fund the public policy requirements mandated by another state’s laws,” the statement from the governors said.