Scana purchased by Dominion at $7.9 billion

12 January, 2018, 17:51 | Author: Regina Silva
  • The merger would alleviate some rate stress on South Carolina electric customers

The project to build first-of-their-kind AP1000 reactors was about 64% complete in May when it was put in limbo by key contractor Westinghouse's bankruptcy filing. Templeton, who is challenging Gov. Henry McMaster for this year's GOP nomination, said she company's executives "better not get one penny until we get paid back 100 percent, and they stop taking money for nothing".

Dominion said it would pay SCE&G's customers $1.3 billion, averaging about $1,000 for each residential customer, within 90 days of the deal's closure.

Meanwhile, Dominion says ratepayers will get an additional 5 percent reduction in future rates, or an average of $7 a month.

Guggenheim Securities analyst Shahriar Pourreza, however, expects regulators to approve the deal. "It would lock in significant and immediate savings for SCE&G customers - including what we believe is the largest utility customer cash refund in history - and guarantee a rapidly declining impact from the V.C. Summer project", he said in a statement.

SCANA provides energy in the Carolinas and Georgia.

The companies said South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. residential customers will get a 5% rate reduction, equal to about $7 a month for the typical customer, compared with the 3.5% reduction proposed to appease regulators and frustrated customers a year ago.

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SCANA has been reeling since announcing last summer that it was abandoning new reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. Refunds will be tallied based on usage and time as a customer, he said, adding that there would be no more rate increases attached to the failed project. "This is a for-profit company thinking it can throw a little cash at SC customers now, hoping they won't notice they're signing on for decades of payouts for a power plant that won't power a single light bulb".

South Carolina's legislative leaders are weighing in on the proposed acquisition of a troubled SC utility by Dominion Energy. Dominion, like SCANA, will continue to work with Santee Cooper on transferring operating licenses, Farrell said.

"SCANA is a natural fit for Dominion Energy", Dominion's chairman, president and CEO, Thomas F. Farrel II, said. Further, Dominion believes the acquisition will be immediately accretive to earnings and enhance its earnings-per-share growth.

Including assumption of debt, the transaction is valued at approximately $14.6 billion.

Dominion Energy officials, expressing optimism Wednesday in their plan to buy SCANA, said the deal will help lower power bills for S.C. customers saddled with payments for the failed V.C. Summer nuclear power project in Fairfield County.

Scana, which owns the South Carolina Electric & Gas Co (SCE&G), has been under pressure since it scrapped its VC Summer nuclear project after spending about $9 billion on it. Over seven hundred thousand electric cooperative customers face the prospect of having their power bills skyrocket for decades to pay off Santee Cooper's $4 billion in debt from this.

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