Lawmakers Urge DEEP to Heed Advice from PURA Given Millstone’s Risk for Closure

July 26, 2018

Today co-chairs of the Energy & Technology Committee, Senator Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) and Representative Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) urged the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to heed the advice of Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and rework a draft request for proposals for the state’s zero carbon energy procurement. PURA’s recommendation echoes a recent appeal from lawmakers.

PURA proposes that DEEP remove its controversial new definition of an “at risk time period” beginning five years from now, because the risk for a potential closure of Millstone Power Station could happen much sooner.

While some argue that Millstone is not at risk of closure because they are bound by capacity commitments until 2023, PURA explains that Millstone could close prior to the end of its capacity commitment simply by buying out its obligations through ISO-NE.

“We applaud PURA for the honesty and careful analysis contained in their comments,” said Formica and Reed. “We agree with their conclusion that DEEP should change language in their RFP that usurps the legislature by defining a new ‘at risk time period.’ The proposed DEEP language states that facilities can only be considered vulnerable during an ‘at risk time period’ commencing June 1, 2023 – five years from now. That would significantly delay the ability of potential bidders to participate in this process. PURA makes clear that DEEP’s proposed ‘at risk’ definition is not an accurate way to determine which bidders are at risk. As lawmakers have said repeatedly, bidders like Millstone Power Station are at risk of closing right now. Waiting five more years to allow Millstone an opportunity to bid would be a major blow to Connecticut’s careful efforts to protect ratepayers and keep energy costs down while the state works to grow the economy and develop a renewable energy future.”

PURA’s comments state in part, “PURA suggests that DEEP consider permitting more flexibility in its bidding and evaluation requirements by not specifying an ‘at risk time period’ in advance of the proceeding in Docket No. 18-05-04, so that DEEP can evaluate, on a case-by-case basis and with the benefit of a well-developed record, whether and when a resource is ‘at risk.’”

DEEP intends to issue a final RFP by July 31, 2018. They are currently reviewing comments submitted by state officials and members of the public regarding their draft RFP.