Governor Lamont and Commissioner Dykes: Agreement Between Dominion and Eversource/UI Good for Environment, Economy, and Ratepayers
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes today announced that Dominion Energy and Connecticut’s two electric utility companies, Eversource and United Illuminating (UI), have reached an agreement to retain the Dominion-owned Millstone nuclear facility. The officials said the agreement is good news for the region’s grid, the environment, the state’s economy, and ratepayers alike.
“The loss of Millstone would have been catastrophic for our state and our region,” Governor Lamont said. “The shutdown of the plant would have exposed the New England region to a nearly 25 percent increase in carbon emissions, increased risk of rolling blackouts, billions of dollars in power replacement costs, and the loss of more than 1,500 well-paying jobs. The deal the utilities have negotiated secures Millstone’s zero-carbon power for ten years, and reduces by nearly 50 percent the incremental ratepayer cost of the contract, as compared to the original bid selected. With this deal in place, we can start moving forward with new investments in renewable and clean energy needed to transform our grid.”
Governor Lamont today also announced a commitment from all New England governors to evaluate regional mechanisms to help maintain critical nuclear and clean energy facilities.
“I am pleased to join with the other New England governors in committing to work together on mechanisms that can value the critical benefits nuclear and other clean energy facilities provide to the region,” Governor Lamont added. “These mechanisms can complement the agreement announced today between Connecticut’s electric utilities and the Dominion-owned Millstone facility.”
The ten-year agreement between Dominion and the utilities will now advance to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) for review. The agreement assures that Millstone will not retire, thereby preventing an increase of regional carbon emissions from the electric grid of 36.5 million metric tons from replacing Millstone’s 2100 MW of carbon-free energy. The agreement also ensures 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.
This project selection, and the ensuing contract, were conducted in response to the determination by DEEP and PURA that the Millstone nuclear facility was at risk of early retirement.
The Millstone nuclear facility provides around-the-clock, zero-carbon, fuel-secure electricity that meets more than half of Connecticut’s electricity needs. Had Millstone retired, the region would have seen energy and capacity costs increase by approximately $8 billion. In addition to preventing unacceptable carbon emissions increases and astronomical replacement costs, the Millstone facility provides well-paying stable jobs for 1,500 Connecticut employees in the southeast region of Connecticut. This agreement will retain those important jobs going forward.
“The effects of climate change are inescapable in Connecticut as we see increased damage to our shorelines, reductions in our native species, and significantly more destructive storms,” Commissioner Dykes said. “The contract the utilities have negotiated will ensure Connecticut and the region can maintain a critical fuel-secure, zero carbon resource that is doing its part to prevent the unacceptable increase in carbon emissions and reliability risks that would have resulted had the Millstone nuclear facility retired. Securing this resource will enable our state to continue its progress in scaling energy efficiency and renewable investments that will ultimately be necessary to transition to a clean electric grid in the future. I also commend Governor Lamont’s leadership in reaching out to our sister states in the region and we look forward to working with those states on mechanisms that can support resources that help us achieve our fuel security and various public policy goals.”**Download: Statement of cooperation between the New England governors on regional energy