HARTFORD (AP) — State regulators have tentatively agreed that a Connecticut nuclear power plant is "at risk of retirement," a distinction that could help the facility compete for long-term contracts with other zero-carbon electricity generators.

Virginia-based Dominion Energy praised Wednesday's interim decision by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. The company has claimed the Millstone Power Station in Waterford faces closure because of rising expenses and competition from natural gas.

Dominion wants Millstone to compete for lucrative long-term clean-energy contracts, claiming it can provide "significant value" to Connecticut ratepayers.

Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is expected to announce the winners of its electricity auction by the end of the year. PURA's determination that Millstone is at risk of closing will be taken into consideration as DEEP considers dozens of renewable energy proposals.

Millstone is Connecticut's biggest supplier of electricity.

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