The governor of Connecticut, Danial Malloy, a Democrat, has signed a bill sent to him last week by the General Assembly, that allows the state to change market rules to permit Dominion Energy to join a competitive solicitation market along with hydro, wind and solar power sources for up to 75 percent of Millstone Nuclear Power Plant's output.
Signing the bill does not set-in-stone the benefits for Dominion Energy. Media reports carefully couch their reports with this caveat: That Gov. Malloy has encouraged Dominion Energy to allow the state to examine its financial records to determine if the Millstone plant is, indeed, in the financial straits the owners say it is in. In an earlier round over the issue, Dominion refused to release its financial records owing to the danger that, once in government hands, the general public could get their hands on what they consider proprietary records through a Freedom of Information laws that guarantee open government policies. While the issue was in debate, Gov. Malloy directed the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to hire consultants to ascertain what Millstone's financial position might actually be based on information that was already public. The firm Levitan and Associates report concluded that Millstone could operate profitably from 2022 to 2035 without the state changing the rules to the 2011 Act Concerning Zero Carbon Procurement law.
While currently in a standoff, both Dominion and an anti-corporate handout group applauded the governor's signature. “On behalf of the 1,500 women and men who work at Millstone, I want to thank Gov. Malloy for signing this important legislation,” said Dominion Energy President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Thomas Farrell.
The response from the “Stop the Millstone Payout,” group, quoted by Power Magazine, went the other direction. “The interium findings by DEEP (Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) … only affirm what we have been saying all along: Millstone is highly profitable and has not good rationale to seek special treatment.”
The governor, caught in the middle, said, “the state needs significantly more engagement from Dominion as other nuclear facility owners have engaged under similar circumstances in other states. I look forward to continuing this conversation and to increased cooperation from the party seeking assistance.”
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