Economic and Environmental Benefits to Massachusetts from the Operation of the Seabrook Nuclear Plant
White paper, 2023
An Analysis Group study, Economic and Environmental Benefits to Massachusetts from the Operation of the Seabrook Nuclear Plant, estimates Massachusetts utilities could save their customers $880 million to more than $2 billion by 2032 by entering into a long-term power purchase contract with the Seabrook Station nuclear plant. In addition, the study estimates that Seabrook’s ongoing operation through 2032 reduces consumers’ electricity costs and is expected to contribute $2 billion to $2.91 billion to the Commonwealth’s economy; lower regional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 5 million tons per year; reduce electricity and natural gas price volatility for consumers; and provide reliable electric generation capacity.
The study was prepared by an Analysis Group team led by the study’s two coauthors, Vice President Joseph Cavicchi and Associate Jonathan Franklin. Using commercially available power market and regional economic impact modeling software, the team provided two estimates of Massachusetts’ electricity generation between 2023 and 2032 – one that included and one that excluded Seabrook’s 1,250 MW capacity. Modeling scenarios were created to estimate the impact of Seabrook’s operation on the state’s economy and its consumers, on GHG emissions, and on fossil fuel consumption under both conservative and optimistic regional natural gas price forecasts.
The study identified significant environmental benefits of the plant’s continued operation beyond estimated savings to consumers, including substantially reducing GHG emissions, keeping down Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) emission allowance prices, and reducing the reliance of Massachusetts and New England on natural gas, especially during cold winter months. Moreover, the study found that Seabrook’s operation was critical for Massachusetts to meet its clean energy standards in the coming years, and it plays a significant role in maintaining regional power system reliability.
Cavicchi J, Franklin J