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Dominion Completes Purchase of South Carolina's Troubled SCANA

In February 2017, workers used a giant crane to lower a containment vessel ring into place at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant in Fairfield County, S.C.

Dominion Energy of Virginia said Wednesday it has completed its acquisition of South Carolina utility SCANA. The closing comes after Dominion won final approval two weeks ago from South Carolina regulators.

In a move required by lawmakers and regulators, Dominion is cutting rates for customers of SCANA subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas by an average of $22 a month, to an average $125. SCANA's gas customers also will get bill credits over the next three years.  

Dominion is also absorbing billions of dollars in debt from the failed V.C. Summer nuclear plant expansion, which SCANA abandoned in 2017. SCANA had paid about $5 billion toward the construction, passing those costs on to customers for years. SCANA said it will reduce customer monthly bills by a total of $2 billion over the next 20 years.  

The final value of the deal was $13.4 billion. That includes $6.8 billion in stock paid to SCANA shareholders, plus $6.6 billion in SCANA debt which Dominion is taking on, the company said.

With the deal, Dominion expands its electric and gas businesses in Georgia and the Carolinas.

"The addition of SCANA makes geographic sense and aligns well with our core, regulated energy businesses," Chairman Thomas Farrell II said in a statement. "These are well-run regulated operations that we expect will help improve Dominion Energy's risk profile and growth outlook."

Dominion plans to operate SCANA as a wholly-owned subsidiary in a new Southeast Energy Group. It will become Dominion's fourth business segment, along with the existing power delivery, power generation and gas infrastructure. Dominion vice president Rodney Blevins will run the new segment, based in Cayce, S.C. Current SCANA CEO Jimmy Addison is retiring.


Jan. 2, 2019, Dominion Energy press release announcing the deal closing

David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.