SC utility faces new court challenge to nuke plant

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A group of industrial power customers says regulators overstepped their authority when they allowed a utility to include a $438 million contingency fund in its estimate of how much it will cost to build a nuclear plant.

S.C. Energy Users' case against South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. was heard Tuesday by the state Supreme Court. The justices gave no indication of when they would issue a ruling. The court also is considering another challenge to the company's plan to build two new reactors at its V.C. Summer nuclear facility.

The contingency costs were included in a rate increase regulators approved last year. The company is charging electricity customers an average of 2.5 percent more each year over 10 years to help pay for the $10 billion project.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.