Dominion Energy said Friday it reached a 10-year deal with Connecticut utilities to keep the state’s only nuclear power plant in service.
Dominion had until Friday to tell regional power grid operator ISO New England if it would retire the two reactors at the 2,088-megawatt Millstone station in Waterford, Kallanish Energy understands.
Millstone produces roughly half the electricity in Connecticut and approximately 98% of its carbon-free energy, making the plant a big part of the state’s carbon reduction goals, Reuters reported.
“This is a huge win for Connecticut, the region, and our colleagues at Millstone,” Paul Koonce, president and CEO of Dominion’s Power Generation Group, said, in a statement.
“Not only does this preserve the vast majority of Connecticut’s carbon-free electricity, it preserves good jobs for the 1,500 women and men who work at Millstone and keeps 4,000 other residents employed,” Koonce said.
Dominion has said for years Millstone’s reactors, which began operating in 1975 and 1986, are not economically viable in the current low power price environment.
The reactors cannot compete against cheap, abundant natural gas and, in some cases subsidized wind and solar power, according to Dominion.
Power prices in New England over the past five years have been the lowest ever, according to Reuters data going back to 2000, due to increasing use of generators fired with natural gas and renewables.
After three years of working with politicians and regulators on a plan to keep the plant in service, the state in December selected Millstone for a contract to purchase a little over half of its output for 10 years.
The price of that contract, however, was not firm, so Dominion said it was negotiating with the state and two local utilities: units of Eversource Energy and Avangrid, Reuters reported.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.