October 19, 2017
CT Green Guide

Millstone opponents: Early shutdown could cost $680M+

Contributed photo
Contributed photo
The Millstone Power Station nuclear plant

A lobbying group of power plant owners continues its assault on Millstone Power Station, which has asked lawmakers to let it compete in state-led competitions for power contracts with utilities.

Stop the Millstone Payout Coalition, which includes NRG, Calpine and Dynegy and the Electric Power Supply Association, released a report last week that says if Millstone Power Station closed today, it would have to pay somewhere between $680 million to "upwards of $1 billion" in penalties and other costs.

Energyzt Advisors, which wrote the report, said the nuclear plant would incur penalties from grid operator ISO New England and other costs for pulling out of the forward-capacity market early. Millstone is receiving payments from ISO-NE in exchange for its pledge to be available to provide power until May 2021.

The coalition is using the report to further its argument that Dominion is unlikely to shutter the plant soon.

State regulators are in the midst of reviewing Millstone's economic viability, after the plant's warnings over the past year that it was suffering as a result of low natural gas prices. Dominion has raised the specter that it could shutter Millstone, but has not been forthcoming about when that could happen or under what conditions. It has also refused to say under what circumstances it would pursue a license extension.

Asked about Energyzt's recent report, Dominion spokesman Ken Holt wrote the following in an email:

"For months, the companies behind Stop The Millstone Payout have said that it would be impossible for Millstone to shut down prior to 2022 because of obligations to ISO New England and the market. Now it appears that they agree with what Dominion Energy has maintained all along, that in fact Millstone can be shut down early and the obligations to ISO New England can be met by transferring them to another party or paying a penalty. "

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