State regulators OK $15B merger of Dominion Energy, SCANA

South Carolina News

South Carolina regulators have approved a deal to rescue a utility company reeling in the wake of a multibillion-dollar nuclear construction failure.

The Public Service Commission voted Friday to OK Dominion Energy’s roughly $15 billion cash and stock bid to buy SCANA, the parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas.

The deal approved by commissioners would cut customer rates by about $22 a month.

Ratepayers have already paid more than $2 billion for a pair of nuclear reactors abandoned during construction last summer.

Privately-owned SCANA and its minority partner, state-owned Santee Cooper, gave up on the project after a decade of planning and building following the bankruptcy of lead contractor Westinghouse.

Commissioners decided not to adopt an amendment ruling that SCE&G had lied to them about the project in order to get rate increases.

Governor Henry McMaster on Friday released the following statement in response to the merger:

Since we learned of SCANA and Santee Cooper’s decision to abandon the VC Summer Project, my goal has been to ensure that the customers bear no burden for the failings of others. The Public Service Commission – which I am confident has vigorously sought to make the best of a bad situation – has conducted a transparent, open process and has carefully deliberated the positions of ratepayers, the power companies, and the court.

“Our goal now must be to learn from these failures, to never repeat them, and to continue to work diligently for the growth and prosperity of South Carolina.

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