COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - On Tuesday, Lawmakers received three winning bids which will be considered for the possible sale of state-owned utility Santee Cooper.
The bids came in the form of a report from the Department of Administration after several other bids were also considered. Dominion Energy, and NextEra energy of Florida were both chosen as possible companies that could take over. Santee Cooper itself also submitted a bid that is still on the table as it hopes to stay its own entity.
Santee Cooper is about $8 billion in debt, with about half of that coming from the utility’s minority stake in two nuclear reactors that were never finished.
“The interests of South Carolina’s ratepayers and taxpayers – as well as our people’s economic prosperity – must be first and foremost in the minds of members of the General Assembly,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said. "Every South Carolinian will either be financially burdened or protected by their decision. Ratepayers will either continue paying for two reactors which were never built, or they will get back what they’ve already paid. Taxpayers will either be off the hook for the billions of dollars of debt, or burdened for generations. Our state will either gain a vibrant new addition to our economic prosperity, or will remain stagnated in the status quo. The politics of indecision is unacceptable. The time to act is now.”
Other lawmakers have expressed concern that rates would go up if the utility is sold.
Along with its direct customers, Santee Cooper also provides power to electric cooperatives that cover every county in South Carolina.