|Millstone Power Station|
photo from NEI Nuclear Notes
Right now. Today, or maybe tomorrow
If you live in Connecticut: Write your legislator!
Over the next two weeks, the Connecticut legislature will consider SB 106. This bill will provide financial relief for Millstone Power Station, which produces enough power for two million homes. The same bill will also encourage Connecticut's fuel cell industry.
Dominion has a good website about supporting Millstone. Specifically, you can click the Take Action link, and be taken directly to a site where you can write to your legislator. If you live in Connecticut, use the link, right now.
If you live in New England but not in Connecticut, read NEI's post With Nuclear Plants Closing, Fears Grow for Stability of the New England's Electric Grid. Be prepared to defend your local nuclear plant.
More about the Connecticut bill
Well, it's complicated. While other bills (such as New York State's Zero Emissions Credits) mandate clean energy payments for zero-emission power plants, Connecticut SB 106 just allows Millstone to bid into certain types of auctions under the same circumstances as other zero-emission plants.
Under this bill, Millstone will be allowed to present proposals to supply energy, and those proposals will be reviewed by the Office of the Consumer Counsel, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, and the Attorney General. (Among others...later these proposals must also reviewed be by the state Public Utilities Regulating Authority.) There are no guarantees for Millstone written into this bill.
Frankly, I think you have to be some kind of Connecticut-power specialist to figure out this bill in its entirety. Here is a link to the SB 106, as it exists now: An Act Concerning the Diversity of Baseload Energy Supplies in the State and Achieving Connecticut's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mandated Levels.
I have tried to read it, but I came to only one conclusion. Everything is optional. This bill does not mandate that Millstone (or any low-emissions source) will be paid any particular amount for their power. It has many statements such as:
(The Office of Consumer Counsel and the Attorney General)... Shall evaluate project proposals received in response to any solicitation issued pursuant to subsection (a) of this section based on whether such proposal is in the best interest of ratepayers and whether the benefits of such proposal outweigh the costs to ratepayers, based on the following: (A) The delivered prices of such sources compared to the forecasted price of energy, as determined by the commissioner or his or her designee....This bill levels the playing field. It allows Millstone to bid, along with other low-emissions suppliers.
Naturally, allowing Millstone to bid has infuriated many companies. This is why you should write your legislator, right now, if you live in Connecticut.
Who are the Opponents?
There is plenty of opposition. Basically, the fossil industry is opposing this bill.
In February, Luther Turmelle wrote about this proposed legislation in the New Haven Register: 2 Connecticut energy bills aim to help Millstone owner, spur fuel cell use. His article described the opposition, which includes Calpine, Dynegy, NRG Energy, and the Electric Power Supply Association. In other words, the opposition includes the fossil power plants in Connecticut. These companies and associations represent the plants that do not meet the low-emissions criteria set by Connecticut for energy proposals to be submitted under this bill.
The Time is Now
The problem is that it is spring, and state legislatures either pass bills before adjourning, or...the bills don't pass. For the sake of the environment, we want this bill to pass.
Time is short. Write your legislator!