Dominion Energy Inc. has struck a deal to buy troubled energy company Scana Corp.in an all-stock transaction valued at about $7.66 billion and absorb some of the costs of Scana's failed SC nuclear project.
"Under the proposed agreement between SCANA and Dominion Energy, SCE&G ratepayers will get most of the money back they paid for the nuclear reactors and will no longer face paying billions for this nuclear collapse", Mr. McMaster said.
After the closing of the merger and subject to regulatory approvals, these benefits include a $1.3 billion cash payment within 90 days upon completion of the merger to all customers, worth $1000 for the average residential electric customer.
Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell told reporters Wednesday that there will be only givebacks and ultimately the disappearance altogether of costs related to the debacle of the reactors planned for the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station.
The chief executive of the company taking over a troubled SC utility says customers won't experience any more rate hikes to pay for an abandoned nuclear construction project.
The average residential customer will get a $1,000 payment and a 5 percent reduction in power bills, Farrell said.
SCANA and state-owned Santee Cooper began construction began five years ago on two new reactors at the Summer nuclear plant. The transaction values the company at $7.9 million, or $14.6 billion after including the debt that Dominion will assume as part of the deal.
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The deal is expected to immediately add to earnings after its closure in the third quarter, Dominion said.
"The only way to resolve this travesty is to sell Santee Cooper", he said. The proposal would then require that a typical customer continue to pay 13% of their monthly bill for a period of 20 years, with full profits on the remaining abandoned nuclear project costs. There also are potential benefits to natural gas customers in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia and to their communities. The deal would give Dominion 6.5 million regulated electric and gas customers in eight states, but is contingent on keeping a state law that allows SCANA to recoup at least some costs for the Summer plant.
In particular, SC regulators would have to approve Dominion's plan for customer refunds, executives said during a conference call Wednesday morning.
Environmentalists say a deal to acquire a troubled SC utility "falls far short of protecting ratepayers" from absorbing costs of a failed nuclear construction deal.
At least four companies, including Dominion, have expressed interest in buying Santee Cooper, which supplies power to most of South Carolina's electric cooperatives.
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The nuclear project's failure has cost executives of the two companies their jobs. Dominion is building a major natural gas pipeline, the Atlantic Coast line, to the SC border, and state officials want it extended, he said. Just last week, Santee-Cooper board chair Leighton Lord resigned, in a letter to the governor.