US-based company Dominion Energy has reached a 10-year agreement with Connecticut electric utilities Eversource and United Illuminating (UI) to keep the Dominion-owned Millstone nuclear facility open.
Under the contract, Millstone will supply nine million megawatt hours per year.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said: “The loss of Millstone would have been catastrophic for our state and our region. The shutdown of the plant would have exposed the New England region to a nearly 25% increase in carbon emissions, increased risk of rolling blackouts, billions of dollars in power replacement costs, and the loss of more than 1,500 well-paying jobs.
“The deal the utilities have negotiated secures Millstone’s zero-carbon power for ten years, and reduces by nearly 50% the incremental ratepayer cost of the contract, as compared to the original bid selected.”
The agreement will allow the Millstone Power Station to continue to stay operational and help the US state in fulfilling its carbon-reduction targets.
Millstone’s two reactors began service in 1975 and 1986. The power station can generate enough electricity to power two million homes.
US Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) commissioner Katie Dykes said: “The effects of climate change are inescapable in Connecticut as we see increased damage to our shorelines, reductions in our native species, and significantly more destructive storms.
“The contract the utilities have negotiated will ensure Connecticut and the region can maintain a critical fuel-secure, zero carbon resource that is doing its part to prevent the unacceptable increase in carbon emissions and reliability risks that would have resulted had the Millstone nuclear facility retired.
“Securing this resource will enable our state to continue its progress in scaling energy efficiency and renewable investments that will ultimately be necessary to transition to a clean electric grid in the future.”
The agreement between Dominion and the utilities will be now reviewed by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).