The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator 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-megawatt, single unit nuclear power station in Carlton, Wisconsin, in the second quarter of 2013, as the company announced last fall.
"After being reviewed for power system reliability impacts, the retirement of Kewaunee would not result in violations of applicable reliability criteria. Therefore, Kewaunee may retire immediately," MISO wrote in its letter to Dominion.
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.
Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion chairman, president and chief executive officer, said, "I want to reiterate that the employees of Kewaunee have been doing an outstanding job, and the decision to close the station is in no way a reflection on them. They have my thanks and gratitude. The company is working to make the transition as smooth as possible for them and their communities."
Farrell also said the company's top priority will be a continued focus on safety during the station's last weeks of operations and during decommissioning.
"We intend to take all steps necessary to ensure the protection of the public, employees and the environment. The station will have the resources it needs," he said.
The station 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.