The Kewaunee Power Station will be allowed to shut down as scheduled in the next few months.
That's after Dominion announced Tuesday that the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) determined the shutdown and retirement of the nuclear plant will not affect the reliability of the regional electric transmission system.
Dominion needed the approval to move ahead and will proceed with plans to close the 556-megawatt, single unit nuclear power station in the second quarter of 2013 as 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 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 station, located about 9 miles south of Kewaunee, employs about 650 workers.
Dominion Chairman, President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell II says 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," said Farrell. "The station will have the resources it needs."
The Kewaunee Power Station began commercial operation in 1974. It was purchased by Dominion in 2005.