COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC/WIS/AP) - A deal with Virginia-based Dominion Energy could mean $1.3 billion in refunds for customers of a troubled South Carolina utility who have been funding a failed nuclear reactor project.
Dominion will purchase SCANA through an all-stock merger.
Dominion announced Wednesday it would make immediate cash payments of up to $1,000 for the average SCE&G customer within 90 days of closing its purchase of the company. The refund amount would be based on the amount of electricity used in the 12 months prior to the merger closing, the company said.
Dominion also plans to write off $1.7 billion in losses tied to the VC Summer project in Fairfield County. The company says that loss will never be collected from customers.
In addition to the payments, the company also plans to lower rates by 5 percent for SCE&G customers.
SCANA has been reeling since announcing last summer its subsidiary, South Carolina Electric & Gas Co., was abandoning construction of two new nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. Via a series of rate hikes, SCE&G customers have paid about $2 billion toward the company's debt on the project.
SCE&G and project co-owner Santee Cooper blamed the $9 billion project failure on the bankruptcy by contractor Westinghouse. The $14.6 billion deal announced Wednesday needs regulatory approval.