Analysis Group Study Estimates Economic and Environmental Benefits of Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant

Date:March 16, 2023
Location:Boston, MA
Contact:Eric Seymour
978 273 6049

Economic experts at Analysis Group, one of the largest international economics consulting firms, released a new study that 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 power plant.

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.
  • Provide reliable electric generation capacity.

Using commercially available power market and regional economic impact modeling software, Analysis Group economists 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.

“Beyond the estimated savings to consumers, our study suggests that continued plant operation substantially reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, helps keeps down Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative emission allowance prices, and reduces Massachusetts’ and New England’s reliance on natural gas, especially during cold winter months,” said Joseph Cavicchi, an Analysis Group Vice President and co-author of the report. “Moreover, Seabrook’s operation is critical for the state to meet its clean energy standards in the coming years, and it plays a significant role in maintaining regional power system reliability.”

The study identified significant environmental benefits of the plant’s continued operation, including:

  • An estimated 49-million-ton reduction in CO2 emissions over 10 years, the equivalent to operation of 2,500 MW of offshore wind resources or the removal of nearly 1 million cars from roadways.
  • The plant’s ability to generate the equivalent output of three 400 MW gas-fired facilities, which account for roughly 20% of the daily natural gas supply consumed by Massachusetts power generators during winter, which is when prices are also at their highest.
  • Seabrook’s contributions toward Massachusetts’s clean energy goal of having clean energy resources generate 60% of the state’s electricity supply by 2030, particularly if planned offshore wind resource additions are delayed.

The study, Economic and Environmental Benefits to Massachusetts from the Operation of the Seabrook Nuclear Plant, was funded by NextEra Energy Resources, which owns and operates Seabrook Station nuclear power plant, and can be accessed here. The analysis and conclusions contained in the study reflect the independent judgment of the authors alone.

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About Analysis Group:

Analysis Group is one of the largest international economics consulting firms, with more than 1,000 professionals across 14 offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. Since 1981, we have provided expertise in economics, finance, health care analytics, and strategy to top law firms, Fortune Global 500 companies, and government agencies worldwide. Our internal experts, together with our network of affiliated experts from academia, industry, and government, offer our clients exceptional breadth and depth of expertise.