DEEP Launches Resource Assessment in Response to Executive Order 59
DEEP Bureau of Energy Technology Policy and PURA will assess future outlook for nuclear and other zero-carbon electric generationConnecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) have launched a joint process that will lead to a study of the current and projected future viability of the Millstone nuclear generating facilities, the role of such facilities as well as others in meeting Connecticut’s carbon and other emission targets, and mechanisms to achieve those targets.
The study, or resource assessment, to be conducted jointly by DEEP and PURA, is required under Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s Executive Order No. 59 of July 25, 2017. In addition, as part of DEEP’s ongoing planning process, the recently released draft 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy identified the need to study the conditions around utilizing a diverse zero-carbon generation mix to meet Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.
“Given changes in the competitive energy marketplace, the closure of several nuclear plants around the country and the need to meet our carbon reduction targets, we must develop a full understanding of the economics of the Millstone facilities,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. “The goal of our study will be to assess market conditions around the Millstone generating units – and other zero-carbon generation facilities – in order to protect the best interests of electric ratepayers, maintain the reliability of the electric grid, promote fuel diversity and meet our climate change targets by continuing to take advantage of this zero-carbon form of power.”
“We will be working quickly to conduct our assessment of this urgent, consequential issue,” said PURA Chair Katie Dykes. “We welcome input from stakeholders throughout the process as we consider whether, and if so, how the state should take action to secure continued progress toward a cleaner, cheaper, and reliable energy future.”
To formally initiate the resource assessment, DEEP’s Energy Bureau and PURA have filed and posted a Notice of Proceeding and a schedule for the proceeding, which details opportunities for stakeholders to participate in the study process.
All documents related to the resource assessment – and instructions about how to sign up for updates on the resource assessment process – can be found at www.ct.gov/deep/EO59
Key milestones in the process include:
- By August 9, 2017, issue a draft scope for the assessment that details the approach and type of information that will be utilized, and opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback on it;
- Requesting operational and financial data and information from Dominion Energy;
- By early December, release of a draft of the resource assessment and opportunities for stakeholder comment;.
- Submission of final assessment no later than February 1, 2018
DEEP and PURA welcome public and stakeholder input and will provide opportunities through public meetings, requests for written comments and requests for information. Additionally, comments or information of any type can be submitted throughout the proceedings.
Under the Governor’s Executive Order, DEEP and PURA are required to submit the study to the Governor, the chairs and ranking members of the General Assembly’s Energy and Technology Committee, and the Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3) no later than February 1, 2018.
The Governor’s Executive Order tasks DEEP and PURA with conducting any necessary and appropriate proceedings to jointly prepare a resource assessment of the following:
- A review of the current and projected economic viability for the continued operation of the Millstone nuclear generating facilities using best available information
- The role of existing nuclear generating facilities, as well as large scale hydropower, demand reduction measures, energy storage, and emissions-free renewable energy, in helping Connecticut meet interim and long-term carbon and other emissions targets at the least cost and with the greatest net benefit to Connecticut ratepayers, while maintaining the reliability of Connecticut’s electric grid
- The best mechanisms to ensure continued progress toward those targets, and considerations for whether and, if so, how such mechanisms, including potential multistate collaborations, should be implemented
- The compatibility of such mechanisms with competitive wholesale and retail electricity markets and their financial impact on ratepayers