Governor Dannel Malloy signed a bill Tuesday that could change the way Connecticut's only nuclear power plant sells its energy.
The bill could potentially allow the Millstone Power Station to sell its power alongside higher-priced zero-carbon sources like solar and wind.
Nuclear energy has taken a financial hit in recent years as natural gas prices have fallen.
Now, Dominion, which owns the Waterford-based plant, could compete against those renewables – but only if state regulators say it's in the interest of ratepayers and Connecticut's long-term carbon goals.
“The importance of this asset to both the state and the region cannot be overstated,” Malloy said, in a statement. “If we are to realize the goals set out by this legislation, there is more work to be done.”
Malloy said the company needs to be "significantly" more forthcoming about its financial hardship.
A preliminary analysis released Monday said Millstone is expected to be highly profitable through 2035.
In a letter to Malloy, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee said between 2022 and 2035, it’s estimated Dominion will make around $2.3 billion off the power plant.
“As such, there is unlikely to be a basis upon which to conclude at this time that Dominion requires electric ratepayers to provide financial support outside the regional market in order for Millstone to continue operating profitably,” Klee wrote.
This report comes from the New England News Collaborative, eight public media companies coming together to tell the story of a changing region, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.