All but unnoticed as coronavirus tears through – the New England power grid is without 75% of its nuclear power.
The final clean energy competition of the Malloy administration on Friday handed the Millstone Nuclear Power Station the lifeline it has sought for nearly two years claiming the plant was at risk of closing otherwise. In a blow to the environmental advocacy community, renewable power projects were awarded fewer than 20 percent of the total power production up for bid.
State energy officials recommended Thursday that the Millstone nuclear power station be allowed to offer further evidence of financial distress as part of a new procurement process that could enhance the profitability of Connecticut’s biggest source of zero-carbon electricity.
Connecticut, once a national leader in clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency, has slipped behind many other states, including its neighbors. Most of the finger-pointing is at the state’s budget problems and questionable choices by the legislature. But the state may have started to lose its energy edge before then. The question is, can it get it back?
A long-awaited assessment of the energy market released Monday by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority does not resolve questions about the economic viability of the region’s biggest provider of carbon-free electricity, the Millstone nuclear station at Waterford. State officials say they need more information from its owner, Dominion Energy.
State energy officials concluded in a preliminary report released Thursday that the Millstone nuclear power station in Waterford will be profitable through 2035, undercutting its owner’s assertion that Connecticut must change how its electricity is sold or face the early retirement of New England’s largest source of carbon-free power. But they reached no conclusions on whether the profits represent a sufficient return on investment for the owner, Dominion Energy.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a bill Tuesday that allows the state to enhance the profitability of Dominion Energy’s Millstone nuclear power plant in Waterford, while pointedly asserting that Dominion has not convinced his administration any such help is warranted.
After blocking similar bills over two years, the House of Representatives voted 75 to 66 for final passage Thursday of a measure variously derided as a windfall for a major energy company and praised as a responsible first step toward stabilizing the finances of Connecticut’s last nuclear plant.
One of the non-fiscal elements of the tentative budget deal calls for the House Democratic leadership to allow a vote on a bill designed to improve the profitability of Connecticut’s last nuclear power plant, Millstone, the subject of an epic lobbying campaign by its owner, Dominion Energy.
Regardless of what the Connecticut legislature decides on Millstone, it won’t change some basic realities: One day the nuclear plant will close, and Connecticut doesn’t have a plan for that. The question of how to replace Millstone elicits all kinds of ideas. But parameters matter: Are we talking short-term, long-term, cleanly, at what cost to ratepayers?
Dominion Energy signaled an intention Friday to play hardball with state energy officials by questioning the need to share financial data sought by Connecticut state agencies that are jointly assessing the economic viability of its Millstone nuclear power station, the biggest source of electricity in New England.
Call it a sign of desperation or a mark of creativity. One of the unconventional revenue-raising schemes considered by legislators in pursuit of an overdue budget would have Connecticut extract millions of dollars from Dominion Energy in return for legislation boosting the profitability of electricity generated by the company’s Millstone nuclear power plant.
A standoff over a bill sought by Dominion Energy to boost the profitability of its Millstone nuclear power station temporarily stopped business in the closely divided House of Representatives on Wednesday, the final day of the 2017 legislative session. It failed to force a vote sought by Dominion.
Dominion Energy and its allies in the Senate Republican caucus managed Wednesday to salvage elements of a bill intended to stabilize the profitability of Millstone Power Station, a nuclear plant that produces nearly all of Connecticut’s carbon-free electricity.
A long, intense and expensive lobbying campaign by Dominion Energy has failed to find the votes in the Connecticut General Assembly for legislation intended to improve the profitability of its Millstone Nuclear Power Station by changing the rules for procuring electricity.