Dominion Energy and SCANA merge in US$14.6bn deal

Dominion Energy and SCANA merge in US$14.6bn deal

On January 3, 2018, Dominion Energy and SCANA announced that Dominion has instigated a takeover of SCANA, a South Carolina-based utility. Payments will come within 90 days after the merger closes, and will vary based on how much consumers spent on electricity. The deal calls for benefits for customers of Scana's South Carolina Electric & Gas Company subsidiary to offset previous and future costs related to the withdrawal of operating licenses for the unfinished V.C. Summer nuclear reactors, which were pulled after the bankruptcy of nuclear vendor Westinghouse. The company would deliver energy to approximately 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.

SCANA and state-owned Santee Cooper began construction began five years ago on two new reactors at the Summer nuclear plant. Via a series of rate hikes, SCE&G customers have paid about $2 billion toward the company's debt on the project. Further, Dominion believes the acquisition will be immediately accretive to earnings and enhance its earnings-per-share growth.

"The only way to resolve this travesty is to sell Santee Cooper", he said in a statement. The proposal would then require that a typical customer continue to pay 13% of their monthly bill for a period of 20 years, with full profits on the remaining abandoned nuclear project costs.

Dominion now serves about 2.5 million electric customers in Virginia and North Carolina and 2.3 million gas customers in Idaho, Ohio, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

SCANA owns SCE&G, which operates electric and gas divisions, as well as PSNC, a gas utility in North Carolina.

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The move comes more than a month after Scana said it would cover some of the construction costs from its failed nuclear plant project and roll back rates for its SC utility customers, buckling under pressure from state regulators and consumer groups.

Scana had funded some of the costs of V.C. Summer with charges on SC ratepayers' bills.

South Carolina's legislative leaders are weighing in on the proposed acquisition of a troubled SC utility by Dominion Energy. The two projects created approximately 200 temporary construction jobs.

The deal between SCANA Corporation and Dominion Energy Inc will have the latter acquiring the former.

At least four companies, including Dominion, have expressed interest in buying Santee Cooper, which supplies power to most of South Carolina's electric cooperatives. "There is more work to be done, but today, we are headed in the right direction". Just last week, Santee-Cooper board chair Leighton Lord resigned, in a letter to the governor.