Dominion Strikes Deal With Connecticut Utilities to Keep Millstone Nuclear Plant Open

Democratic Governor Ned Lamont announced that Dominion Energy Inc. reached a deal with Connecticut’s two electric utility companies, units of Eversource Energy and Avangrid Inc., to retain the 2,100-megawatt Millstone nuclear facility. The 10-year agreement lowers the incremental ratepayer cost by nearly half compared to the original bid that was accepted last year as part of the state’s solicitation for zero-carbon electricity. Governor Lamont also announced a commitment from all New England governors to assess market-based mechanisms that value the contribution of the existing nuclear fleet to energy security and winter reliability.

Dominion secured the deal on March 15, the deadline the company had to submit retirement decisions to the ISO New England Inc. Last December, Connecticut selected a 10-year bid for about half the output of Millstone, reflecting the energy-only price for the first three years, and directed the state’s electric utilities to negotiate reasonable terms than those sought by Dominion for the 2022-2029 at-risk period.

The project selection, and the subsequent contract, follow the findings by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority that the Millstone units are at risk of early retirement. Governor Lamont said that the closure of Millstone would have led to a $8 billion increase in the region’s energy and capacity costs.