October 12, 2017
CT Green Guide

Millstone opponents: Wait for federal nuke rule changes

Opponents of a proposal that could bring Millstone Power Station higher ratepayer revenues in Connecticut are hoping a newly initiated federal review will stall any potential state action on the nuclear plant's future.

Late last month, the Department of Energy proposed a rule to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that would direct grid operator ISO-New England and fellow ISOs to revise wholesale energy market rules to provide higher compensation to nuclear power and coal power plants.

In response, Eversource, NRG and the AARP all submitted comments this month to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, which are jointly conducting a review of Millstone's economic viability, as ordered by Gov. Dannel Malloy in July.

"...Given that there is now a DOE and FERC driven initiative to increase compensation for generation such as nuclear and coal units, there is no need for immediate action by the Connecticut legislature," Eversource wrote to the state agencies. "DEEP and PURA should monitor these developments at DOE and FERC, and reflect the results in the report they are preparing in these dockets."

AARP concurred with Eversource.

"Although AARP does not support providing any additional compensation to Millstone Station – these new developments could cause any additional compensation awarded to Millstone to be paid by all New England ratepayers instead of forcing only Connecticut ratepayers to unfairly bear this expense," the group wrote.

NRG wrote Wednesday it agreed that the debate over providing more support to nuke plants belongs at a regional or national level, rather than in one state.

The proposed rule, NRG said, "would likely moot any request by Dominion for special financial support from Connecticut electric ratepayers. Accordingly, the [proposal] could have a major impact on the issues currently under study by the agencies."

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