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Rep. Cheeseman Backs Studying Data Centers

Posted on March 26, 2024


HARTFORD- With a large data center proposed to be built on the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant’s property, State Representative Holly Cheeseman (R-37) voted to require the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and ISO New England Inc., is an independent, non-profit regional transmission organization to initiate a proceeding to evaluate the impact that large data centers have on the electric grid, primarily as it relates to reliability and the capacity to support such large data centers.

The legislation Senate bill 299, An Act Concerning Data Centers passed the Energy and Technology Committee on a 15-4 vote and now heads to the Senate floor for further debate.

Cheeseman stood with the neighbors and the Concerned Citizens of Waterford and East Lyme in calling for a pause on any data center in the state until a study can be completed on whether Connecticut’s electric grid is reliable for the power necessary to run a large-scale data center.

The NE Edge, the data center project would enable it to buy power directly from Millstone owner Dominion Energy Nuclear Connecticut. Currently, the NE Edge project is at a standstill after a January decision by the state Siting Council to deny Dominion a boundary change it would need to proceed with the project.

State Rep. Holly Cheeseman supported the original 2021 data center law, now says she wants data centers’ potential impact on energy consumption to be studied.

“I have real concerns both about the current proposal in my neck of the woods,” Rep. Cheeseman said, referring to NE Edge, “but also the unanticipated consequences of adding yet another huge source of demand in our grid.”

Data centers are one of the most energy-intensive building types, consuming 10 to 50 times the energy per floor space of a typical commercial office building.

Cheeseman added, “A data center load is largely steady given that the facility uses continual energy 24/7. The data center located at Dominion would consume 300 megawatts which would consume 14% of Dominion’s power output.”