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Dominion weighs future of Connecticut Millstone nuclear power plant
June 8, 2017 / 12:57 PM / 2 months ago

Dominion weighs future of Connecticut Millstone nuclear power plant

June 8 (Reuters) - Dominion Energy Inc said on Thursday that it will "continue assessing" its investments in Connecticut after the state's House did not pass a bill that would allow the state to buy electricity from Dominion's Millstone nuclear power plant.

Millstone is one of several nuclear plants in the U.S. Northeast and Midwest that could close before their licenses expire, industry analysts say. They have said weak power prices make it uneconomical to operate the reactors without some form of state support.

"We were disappointed that the House chose inaction. We will continue assessing our investments in Connecticut while advocating for needed action," Dominion spokesman Chet Wade said in a statement.

On Wednesday morning, Connecticut's Senate passed a bill that could allow the state to buy power from the Millstone plant. However, that evening the House withdrew the measure hours before the legislative session ended.

Connecticut is one of several states that have explored ways to boost their nuclear plants' revenues to keep them in service to preserve benefits they provide, including carbon-free energy, jobs, taxes and energy diversification.

In 2016, New York and Illinois adopted rules to subsidize some reactors that were in danger of closing before their licenses expire as cheap and abundant shale gas has cut power prices over the past several years.

Other generators with mostly gas-fired plants, like NRG Energy Inc, Dynegy Inc and Calpine Corp, are challenging those New York and Illinois rules in federal court.

Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are considering adopting similar rules to protect their reactors.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and W Simon

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