Senate Approves Millstone Aid, Bill Awaits House Action – Connecticut News

Senate Approves Millstone Aid, Bill Awaits House Action – Connecticut News

Efforts to help Connecticut’s sole nuclear plant win broader access to electricity markets were brought back to life Friday in the General Assembly.

Leaders of the Senate passed legislation similar to a measure that failed in the final hours of the regular legislative session in June by a margin of 23-8. The bill still needs to be taken up by the House.

The Senate gave broad backing in June for a compromise measure that added a provision requiring the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to study nuclear power generating facilities. The state also would decide whether to select a competitive procurement process for nuclear power generating facilities and, in some cases, large-scale hydropower plants and other renewable energy sources.

The measure passed the Senate but died in the House of Representative hours before the end of the session.

The new proposal does not include a fee paid by Millstone’s parent company Dominion Energy, which was introduced as a possibility from state Republicans earlier this week. Dominion would have paid $50 million to the state this year and $35 million next year. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy opposed the plan saying he feared it could result in higher costs for customers.

Dominion says it needs to be more competitive against natural gas, which is increasingly popular because of its relatively low cost. Numerous nuclear plants around the country have shut or are seeking state aid in the form of subsidies or special rate-setting.

Dominion has defended its drive for state legislation, saying it would provide no subsidy. Opponents say Millstone should not compete with other zero-emission…

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