Connecticut bill would protect Millstone nuke by classifying it as a renewable resource
Nuclear power plants have been struggling to compete with low-cost natural gas generation in wholesale markets, leading a number of plants to retire in recent years.
In some states nuclear plant operators have been fighting back by seeking special treatment for their zero-emission electricity.
A bill passed in Illinois late last year provides $325 million a year to two nuclear plants owned by Exelon. The company’s plants in New York are also stand to benefit from zero emission credit (ZEC) scheme approved by the state’s Public Service Commission last year. And in Ohio, utility FirstEnergy is floating a similar ZEC proposal for its nuclear plants.
The most recent addition to the spread of nuclear supports could be Connecticut. There, the nuclear subsidy would take a slightly different spin, creating a solicitation designed specifically for a nuclear power plant “fully licensed” to operate through 2029.The only such plant in Connecticut is Dominion’s Millstone nuke in Waterford.
The bill would also expand the share of Class I renewables, such as wind and solar power, and a companion bill would impose fees on CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.The bills offer several benefits to environmental interests, but it could face a stiff battle.