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Connecticut taps nuclear plants to generate clean energy

December 28, 2018

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Nuclear power plants in Connecticut and New Hampshire made the list of electricity producers selected Friday to generate the clean energy needed to help meet Connecticut’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Department Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee and Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced the state also chose bids submitted from nine solar projects and one offshore wind project. Final regulatory approval of power contracts, which still need to be negotiated, are still required.

“The selection of this diverse portfolio of zero-carbon resources ensures that Connecticut is doing its part to address climate change,” Klee said. A 2017 state law required DEEP’s commissioner to solicit proposals for up to 12 million megawatt-hours of clean energy annually to meet the state’s renewable energy goals.

Virginia-based Dominion Energy had sought for months to have its Millstone Nuclear Power Station in Waterford, Connecticut, included in the clean energy procurement. Dominion had argued the plant faced closure due to rising expenses and competition from natural gas.

A top Dominion executive said Friday the company is pleased Millstone is part of the portfolio. DEEP selected a 10-year bid for about 50 percent of the entire nuclear facility’s output. DEEP also selected a bid from the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire.

“DEEP’s decision is good news for Connecticut’s economy and the environment,” said Paul Koonce, EVP, president and CEO of power generation at Dominion Energy. He said Dominion’s “zero carbon offer brings at least $670 million in net benefits to Connecticut customer” and “welcome holiday news” for the power plant’s 1,500 employees.

“We look forward to executing the contract with Connecticut’s utilities shortly,” he said.

State regulators recently determined Millstone was at risk of early retirement, a move that ultimately allowed the plant to be part of DEEP’s clean energy auction.

DEEP also selected nine solar projects, including three in Connecticut, four in Maine and two in New Hampshire. Additionally, DEEP announced plans to expand upon its June selection of 200 megawatts of energy generated by the Revolution Wind off-shore project being developed by Rhode Island-based Deepwater Wind. DEEP said the state will procure an additional 100 megawatts of power from the wind farm, located in federal waters, about halfway between Montauk, New York and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

“Offshore wind is fast becoming a centerpiece of Connecticut’s renewable energy future,” said Jeffrey Grybowski, Co-CEO of Ørsted US Offshore Wind, which acquired Deepwater Wind in October. “We’re proud that our Revolution Wind project will now deliver even more clean energy to Connecticut communities.”

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