Electricity Markets

Conn. regulators OK contract to keep nuclear plant online

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) on Sept. 18 approved a contract between Dominion Energy, owner of the Millstone Nuclear Facility, and Eversource and United Illuminating, the state’s two electric distribution utilities, that will keep the 2,100-megawatt Millstone facility online.

The contract requires the utilities to purchase approximately 50 percent of Millstone’s output, or 9 million MWh/year, for ten years, starting in 2019. The contract confers to Connecticut 100 percent of the plant’s environmental attributes.

Millstone is Connecticut’s lone nuclear power plant.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) selected the contract in a 2018 zero carbon request for proposals.

Both PURA and DEEP found the 2,100 MW Millstone units to be at risk of early retirement based on Millstone’s disclosed financial statements and projected energy market revenues.

Dominion Energy, and Connecticut’s two investor-owned electric utility companies, Eversource and United Illuminating, in March unveiled an agreement under which the Millstone nuclear power plant will remain online under a 10-year pact.

When the contract was executed this spring, all six New England governors issued a joint statement committing to evaluate market-based mechanisms that value the contribution of existing nuclear units and work on a mechanism to value the important attributes of clean energy.