Virginia power company to buy SCANA, issue $1.3B in refunds and lower rates for VC Summer failure

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina residents woke up Wednesday morning to a major shake up in the state's energy sector with the news that a Virginia-based power company is buying SCANA in the wake of the VC Summer collapse.

Dominion Energy out of Richmond, VA, will purchase SCANA through an all-stock merger with plans to immediately refund South Carolina Electric and Gas customers following the failure of the dual-nuclear power plant in Fairfield County.

That $1.3 billion plan could mean up to $1,000 for the average SCE&G customer based on the amount of electricity used in the 12 months prior to the merger closing, the company said.

Dominion will also lower rates by 5 percent for SCE&G customers.

The company also plans to write off $1.7 billion in losses tied to the VC Summer project. The company says that loss will never be collected from customers.

"We believe this merger will provide significant benefits to SCE&G's customers, SCANA's shareholders and the communities SCANA serves," Dominion Energy President and CEO Thomas F. Harrell said in a statement. "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. There also are potential benefits to natural gas customers in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia and to their communities. And, this agreement protects employees and treats fairly SCANA shareholders, many of whom are working families and retirees in SCANA's communities. The combined resources of our two companies make all this possible."

"Dominion Energy is a strong, well-regarded company in the utility industry and its commitment to customers and communities aligns well with our values," said Jimmy Addison, chief executive officer of SCANA. "Joining with Dominion Energy strengthens our company and provides resources that will enable us to once again focus on our core operations and best serve our customers."

More on this story as it develops.

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