COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - SCANA CEO Jimmy Addison took the stand Thursday at the Public Service Commission hearing regarding SCE&G’s failed nuclear expansion plant, VC Summer.
Addison opened his testimony by blaming Westinghouse and Santee Cooper for the project’s abandonment and apologized to ratepayers.
“I would like to say that this is obviously not where any of us hoped to be when we started the project more than ten years ago,” Addison said. “But two events, Westinghouse’s bankruptcy and Santee Cooper’s decision not to continue, led SCE&G to abandon the project. Which we are confident was and is the right decision.”
He argued that the best way out of this financial pit would be to approve a merger proposed between SCANA and a Virginia based energy company called Dominion.
But attorneys questioning Addison were skeptical of the fine print on that deal. One of the selling points Dominion and SCE&G reps have been presenting to customers, is a $1000 average rate credit, advertised as a refund, if the merger goes through.
When asked, Addison testified that a considerable amount of customers will not be receiving a full $1000.
One attorney wanted ratepayers to note that if the Dominion merger is approved and SCE&G higher ups are asked to step down, they’ll be receiving millions in payouts.
“Have some honor and integrity and realize that they people you’re taking money from are not millionaires,” said SCE&G customer Dale Bear.
Addison also testified that, looking back, he wishes the company would have been upfront with the full results of an assessment that ORS officials believe was intentionally withheld from them.
“Sitting here today with perfect hindsight, frankly, I wish the company had disclosed those even if it had caused a deterioration of the negotiating power with the consortium,” Addison said.
He will take the stand for more questioning on Friday.