Midwest ISO: Closing Kewaunee nuclear power plant will not affect electric reliability

Dominion (NYSE:D) announced that the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) has concluded the shutdown and retirement of Kewaunee Power Station in northeastern Wisconsin will not affect the reliability of the regional electric transmission system.

Dominion will proceed with its plans to close the 556-MW, single unit nuclear power station in Carlton, Wisc., in the second quarter of 2013, as the company announced last fall.

Dominion was unable to find a buyer for Kewaunee after it put the station up for sale in April 2011. The decision to sell Kewaunee was part of a regular review of the company’s portfolio of assets to determine which assets fit strategically and support its objectives to improve return on invested capital and shareholder value.

The company also was unable to grow its nuclear fleet in the Midwest to take advantage of economies of scale. In addition, Kewaunee’s power purchase agreements are ending at a time of projected low wholesale electricity prices in the region.

The company’s top priority will be a continued focus on safety during the station’s last weeks of operations and during decommissioning.

The power plant will remain under the oversight of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) throughout the shutdown and decommissioning process.

Following shutdown, Dominion plans to meet its obligations to the two utilities that purchase Kewaunee’s generation through market purchases until the power purchase agreements expire in December 2013.

Kewaunee Power Station, located on Lake Michigan about 35 miles southeast of Green Bay, began commercial operation in 1974. It has one Westinghouse pressurized water reactor. Dominion acquired the station in July 2005. In February 2011, the NRC renewed the station’s operating license for an additional 20 years, until 2033.

Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of about 27,400 MW of generation, 11,000 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline and 6,300 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates the nation’s largest natural gas storage system with 947 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves retail energy customers in 15 states.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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