9.14.17: Stop the Millstone Payout Opposes Budget Authorization of Nuclear Handout, Reiterates “Let’s Get the Facts About Millstone Before Considering Any Special Deal”

For Immediate Release: September 14, 2017

 

STOP THE MILLSTONE PAYOUT OPPOSES BUDGET AUTHORIZATION OF NUCLEAR HANDOUT, REITERATES "LET'S GET THE FACTS ABOUT MILLSTONE BEFORE CONSIDERING ANY SPECIAL DEAL"

CORPORATE HANDOUT IS PREMATURE GIVEN ONGOING INQUIRY INTO MILLSTONE'S FINANCES

Hartford, CT -- The Stop the Millstone Payout coalition affirmed today its opposition to the inclusion of a special $85 million “procurement fee” in the Republican budget proposal. The “fee” is to be charged to the Millstone Nuclear Plant and its owner (Virginia-based, Fortune 500 firm Dominion Energy), which in exchange would receive access to a lucrative, long-term, non-competitive contract.

“This proposal sets a terrible precedent for the state,” said coalition spokesperson Matt Fossen. “Simply put, there is no amount of money that Millstone can offer our state’s government that will make up for the damage it’s going to do to Connecticut ratepayers. Under this deal, Millstone would pay $85 million and gain the ability to charge ratepayers an additional $1.65 BILLION over a five year period. Those dollars will leave Connecticut ratepayers’ wallets and go directly to Dominion’s shareholders.”

According to a study by Energyzt, a special deal for Millstone would cost ratepayers $330 million per year, translating to a 15% to 20% increase in supply costs. A study by MIT furthermore found that Millstone will be the most profitable nuclear plant in the United States through 2019, while a New England States Committee on Electricity report showed that “under every hypothetical scenario,” New England’s nuclear units, including Millstone, will remain profitable through 2030.

“The truth is Millstone isn’t going anywhere,” continued Fossen. “The plant is staying put for years to come, and shows no signs of being financially vulnerable. Given these facts, the ratepayer impact, and the ongoing inquiry, the last thing we should be doing is rushing to hand out lucrative special deals with no questions asked.”

Millstone has a capacity service obligation to the ISO-New England market until at least 2022. In addition, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) docket -- ordered by Governor Malloy and being jointly conducted by PURA and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protections (DEEP) -- is well underway. The probe is meant to determine if Millstone needs special assistance; something the plant has asked for over the last two years, but been denied each time because Millstone refuses to demonstrate economic need. So what’s the rush? “In the end, we cannot simply put over a billion consumer dollars at stake,” concluded Fossen. “That would be more than unwise, so let’s get the facts about Millstone before considering any special deal.”

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