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May 3, 2018

Regulators outline nuke-bid timeline

PHOTO | HBJfile Millstone Power Station in Waterford.

A state-guided purchase of “zero-carbon” electricity, which is expected to draw a bid from Dominion’s Millstone nuclear plant in Waterford, has begun to play out.

Power plants are expected to bid by September, with winners selected by early next year, and contracts submitted to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority by mid-to-late 2019, according to a notice issued this week by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

At the direction of Gov. Dannel Malloy and lawmakers, state regulators spent months trying to ascertain whether Millstone is at risk of closing, a development that would increase power plant emissions in the region.

In January, regulators concluded that Millstone hadn’t shared enough financial information to determine the plant’s profitability. But they said Millstone would have a chance to share that data during the upcoming RFP process, which, along with the bid price, will be taken into consideration against other proposals.

The legislature last summer authorized DEEP to solicit proposals for as much as 12 million megawatt-hours of energy annually -- more than half of Millstone’s output -- and direct utilities to purchase the energy from generators that are ultimately selected.

Other types of generation eligible for the coming RFP include hydropower, wind, solar, and energy storage systems.

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