On November 1, 2012, the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation (KCEDC) organized a group of local and regional stakeholders to address Dominion’s devastating announcement of closure and decommissioning of the Kewaunee Power Station. The meeting agenda set by KCEDC and the Kewaunee County’s UW-Extension office was loosely structured to offer an opportunity to share known facts, identify unanswered questions and map out strategies for moving forward.

Attendees received a summary of the current “Kewaunee Power Station Closure Situation” which includes information about the nuclear plant and Dominion, as well as reported reasons for closure, decommissioning and economic impact. As a participant in the discussion, Dominion responded to a majority of the questions which centered on retaining the nuclear plant. Dominion recapped that the plant has been on the market since April, 2011 without a valid offer.  The company’s reported reasons for closure were reiterated at the November 1st meeting including;

  • Lack of economies of scale; Kewaunee only has one reactor
  • Dominion was not able to move forward with plan to grow nuclear fleet in the Midwest.  It operates six reactors at three nuclear plants inVirginiaandConnecticut.  Kewaunee’s one reactor in Wisconsinis isolated from the other operations.
  • Expiration of power purchase agreements in 2013.
  • The agreements by which Dominion sells the plant’s electricity to other utilities expire in December 2013, and prices are too low to be profitable.
  • Low Midwest power prices are tied to domestic natural gas production

Closure of the Kewaunee Power Station translates to a phased loss of 650 highly skilled and talented employees. The workforce blankets three counties and includes positions such as; engineers, operators, maintenance, security, office, chemist radiation specialist and service support. The Bay Area Workforce Development Board has begun to work directly with Dominion to implement programs and assist the workforce directly. Dominion does not have an anticipated date that permanent lay-off will begin. However, Dominion does anticipate that they will cease power generation the second quarter of 2013.

A small “Regional Economic Strategy Team” has been formed to continue to further quantify the closure and decommissioning of the Kewaunee Power Station. Plans are to discuss the economic impact, the decommissioning process, retention of talent and the asset re-purposing opportunity. A meeting has been scheduled for January 10, 2013. If you have information you would like to share, please email Jennifer Brown at info@kcedc.org or Claire Thompson at Thompsoc@kewauneeco.org.

 Additional links and resources for Dominion employees and family members

UW – Extension: Business planning

Kewaunee County Promotions & Recreation Department: Revolving Loan Fund

UWGB-Small Business Development Center

Advance Green Bay Area Economic Development: Microloan Program

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