Dominion Energy ( D ) will buy Scana ( SCG ) for $7.9 billion in a stock-for-stock deal, scooping up a utility battered by a failed nuclear project that's drawn scrutiny from federal and state regulators.
"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.
Dominion announced Wednesday it would make immediate $1,000 cash payments to SCANA Corp. customers within 90 days of closing its purchase of the company.
Upon completion of the merger, the combined company would deliver energy to some 6.5 million regulated customer accounts in eight states and have an electric generating portfolio of 31,400 megawatts and 93,600 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines. It would also involve a more than $1.7 billion write-off of V.C. Summer's Units 2 and 3 capital and regulatory assets, allowing for the "elimination of all related customer costs over 20 years, instead of over the previously proposed 50-60 years".
Dominion Chief Executive Thomas Farrell said in prepared remarks that the company believed the proposal to be the largest utility customer cash refund in history.
SCANA and state-owned Santee Cooper began construction began five years ago on two new reactors at the Summer nuclear plant.
"The only way to resolve this travesty is to sell Santee Cooper", McMaster said, noting that the state-owned utility had racked up debt of $4 billion as it partnered Scana on the project.
The plant was originally estimated to cost less than $12 billion, but mismanagement and problems with reactor design from contractor Westinghouse pushed final cost estimates to $25 billion.
Including the assumption of debt, the acquisition is valued at $14.6 billion.
Dominion said the deal, expected to close this year, would immediately boost earnings. There also are potential benefits to natural gas customers in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia and to their communities.
Wednesday's conference call provided more details on an historic acquisition that will change the energy landscape in SC, where SCANA is the only large investor-owned utility headquartered in the Palmetto State. This is to offset payments customers have made towards costs incurred by SCE&G over the VC Summer nuclear plant in SC. "We are happy to provide South Carolina Electric & Gas additional renewable resources and help an excellent corporate citizen in Solvay reduce its carbon intensity".
South Carolina's legislative leaders are weighing in on the proposed acquisition of a troubled SC utility by Dominion Energy. "There is more work to be done, but today, we are headed in the right direction". The two projects created approximately 200 temporary construction jobs.
On Tuesday, Santee Cooper announced without explanation that board chairman Leighton Lord had resigned his position as of December 29.