Dominion's Millstone nuke may need financial support, says report
- A final report from Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) does not come to any hard conclusions regarding the financial outlook for Dominion's Millstone nuclear plant, but warns that the emissions-free energy is essential to the state.
- The report finds that using "best available public information," Millstone will likely be profitable through 2035. However, a few key variables mean the plant could also be at risk. Dominion would need to submit audited financial documents to know for sure, however, according to the report.
- Given the uncertainty, the report recommends an additional step to the state's procurement process, which would allow zero-carbon resources to demonstrate they are at risk. That would allow Dominion to prove it needs assistance, at which point it could be "evaluated on attributes other than price," according to a statement from DEEP.
State officials aren't certain Millstone needs financial assistance, but they are certain the state needs Millstone.
DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee noted in a statement accompanying the report that Dominion had yet to release "verifiable data related to the fiscal health of Millstone. ... But Connecticut and the region continue to need Millstone for its critical contributions to fuel security.... as well as to meeting our greenhouse gas reduction goals."
Dominion has been reluctant to share what it calls confidential financial data. But the utility bowed under pressure from state regulators and shared financial data for the report. But that data was received only after an analysis for those agencies.
The report recommends an additional step in the procurement process, allowing "eligible, existing zero-carbon resources to demonstrate that they are at-risk of retirement if they wish to be evaluated on attributes other than price."
The finalized report will now be sent to the Connecticut General Assembly for their review. DEEP said the legislature could take action by March 1. The report follows a draft released in January that found sufficient evidence push forward with potentially craft a solicitation process for zero emission credits for Millstone.
In 2017, the Connecticut legislature passed a bill that permits, but does not require, the state to allow Dominion to sell up to 75% of Millstone’s output in a competitive solicitation with other generation resources that do not emit carbon dioxide. Critics of the plan say Dominion’s Millstone plant is profitable and not at risk.
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