Millstone Wants Access to Bigger Markets for its Electricity

Millstone Power Plant

The owner of Millstone Nuclear Power Station, struggling with competition from cheap and abundant natural gas, is seeking state help from lawmakers who may be eager to protect one of Connecticut’s biggest businesses. Dominion, the operator of Millstone in Waterford, is pushing to revive legislation boosting its access to electricity markets. A leading lawmaker said a measure this year could be similar to one that died in 2016.

“I want to do an interdiction,” said Rep. Lonnie Reed, the House chairwoman of the Energy and Technology Committee. Reed, D-Branford, cited last summer’s $220 million state deal with Sikorsky that keeps hundreds of manufacturing jobs at the helicopter maker in Stratford as a reason to support Millstone.

“We’re in the middle of showing we’re business-friendly,” she said.

Kevin Hennessy, a spokesman for Dominion, said legislation would give the Richmond, Va., power company the “opportunity to compete.”

Nuclear, coal and oil have been excluded in the past few years from state-authorized purchases of power, Hennessy said. Unlike coal and oil, which are losing favor because of carbon pollution, nuclear is zero-emission, making it an attractive alternative.

For example, replacement energy largely from fossil-fuel fired plants following the retirement of the Vermont Yankee nuclear station in 2014 drove up carbon dioxide emissions by 2.5 percent the following year, reversing a decline over several years, according to ISO New England, the region’s power grid operator. Still, safety concerns at nuclear plants remain high among environmentalists, officials and consumers. Click here for full article