Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed an executive order requiring various state agencies to review the future economic viability of the Millstone Power Station in Waterford.
The Democrat's order, released on Tuesday, requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to review the current and projected economic viability of the nuclear power plant's continued operation.
The agencies will also examine the role of nuclear plants, large-scale hydropower, energy storage, renewable energy and demand reduction measures play in helping Connecticut meet carbon emission targets while maintaining the reliability of Connecticut's electric grid. The study will look at other issues, including potential multi-state collaborations.
Malloy said "Connecticut has become a leader in building a 21st century approach to energy, and we must not stop."
“We are deploying more renewable power resources and energy efficiency measures, while pursuing new, clean technologies such as battery storage and fuel cells. And in order for our state to have an efficient and comprehensive approach in how our energy future should be advanced, we must objectively and thoroughly review and evaluate the relevant information and market conditions of the Millstone facility and the sustainability of legacy zero-carbon generation in the context of reducing costs for consumers and moving our clean energy strategy forward," Malloy said in a statement on Tuesday.
Malloy's order comes after state lawmakers failed to pass legislation that required the state to assess Millstone's financial viability.
AARP Connecticut released a statement on the governor's executive order. AARP Connecticut is the state’s largest consumer advocacy organization and represents nearly 600,000 members in Connecticut.
“AARP Connecticut applauds Governor Malloy’s executive order that directs DEEP and PURA to conduct a public assessment of the viability of the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant. The Governor’s order reflects AARP’s call for Millstone to disclose their financial need for a state-funded subsidy by requiring the assessment include an examination of audited financial statements and other financial data when making its recommendations to the legislature for action in 2018. We look forward to participating in the public proceedings in order to ensure the voices of Connecticut ratepayers are heard," AARP Connecticut said in a statement on Tuesday.
Matt Fossen, spokesman for the Stop the Millstone Payout coalition, said the governor made the "right call" with his executive order.
“A number of studies, from the New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) to MIT and others, show that Millstone is the most profitable nuclear plant in the country and that a subsidy would cost consumers hundreds of millions annually. The only claims to the contrary have come from executives of the plant’s parent company, Dominion Energy, and to date they have declined to document actual financial need," Fossen said in a statement on Tuesday. “The critical thing now will be to ensure the quality of the information the state receives about Millstone. It is essential that Dominion fully disclose the plant-level financials of Millstone, otherwise the investigation won’t be truly comprehensive or accurate. In addition, we urge PURA and DEEP to consider any potential action’s impact on Connecticut’s full generation fleet, and to hold a rigorous stakeholder process so that consumers will know exactly what’s at stake and what impact it will have on their household budgets. We are confident that a transparent, data-backed stakeholder process will prove what this coalition has been saying from the start: that Millstone does not need a ratepayer-funded corporate payout.”
To read the Malloy’s full executive order, click here.
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