COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - SCANA CEO and Chairman Kevin Marsh received a tersely-worded letter from Governor Henry McMcMaster on Thursday in regard to it as "unreasonable and oppressive" dealings with SCE&G customers in recouping the costs from the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project.
McMaster's letter asks for SCANA "to immediately cease" its collection of nearly $37 million a month from state ratepayers for the costs of the abandoned plant.
"I believe this is the right thing to do under these circumstances," Governor McMaster wrote. "It is unreasonable and oppressive for SCANA to require its customers to bear the burden of actions and decisions in which customers played no part and over which they had no control."
SCE&G, along with co-developer Santee Cooper, moved to pull out of a decade-long effort to add nuclear reactors in Fairfield County. SCANA executives unveiled their plan to abandon the work on July 31, looking to the state Public Service Commission for approval. But that plan as formulated by the company has drawn the objection from the Office of Regulatory Staff.
Santee Cooper owns 45 percent of the project. South Carolina Electric & Gas owns 55 percent.
The utilities announced in late July that Westinghouse's parent company, Toshiba Corp., agreed to jointly pay them $2.2 billion regardless of whether the reactors are ever completed.
Santee Cooper says the decision is expected to save customers nearly $7 billion in additional costs to complete the project. The company says it has spent about $4.7 billion in construction and interest so far on the project.
Both companies say they spent $10 billion on the project, with most of the money coming from utility customers.