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Millstone Could Benefit from ZECs, Report Says

Dominion Energy's two-unit Millstone nuclear station in Connecticut should remain profitable through 2035. That's according to a draft report prepared by the state's regulatory commission that considered a number of scenarios.

However, cost information provided in late 2017 by the utility after Congress passed a tax reform bill suggests heightened risks that could force the plant to retire early.

The report was prepared by staff of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

Millstone Unit 2 is an 882 megawatt (MW) Combustion Engineering designed pressurized water reactor. It's been operating since 1975. And Unit 3 is an 1,155 MW Westinghouse designed pressurized water reactor that entered service in 1986.

The draft report says that Millstone's economic viability depends on energy market revenues and plant operating costs. An economic assessment concludes that both units are economically viable under expected market conditions through 2035 and "thus unlikely to retire prior to that date."

Following passage of federal tax reform in late December, Dominion offered up confidential documents with revised cost estimates. Analysis by the report's authors concludes that "when some adjustments are made, the financial viability of Millstone’s continued operation could be at risk."

It said the plant could benefit from zero emission credits, similar to those offered to nuclear generating assets in New York and Illinois. 

 

Caption: The two-unit Millstone station in Connecticut uses pressurized water reactors provided by Combustion Engineering and Westinghouse. Credit: Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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