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Many South Carolina residents are unaware that they’re paying for $9 billion nuclear debacle

A lot of SC power customers don’t know they’re paying for $9 billion nuclear debacle, Greenville News

Bristow Marchant, The State  Oct. 15, 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. — More than a year after construction of two nuclear reactors was abandoned, many S.C. residents still are unfamiliar with the project that could end up costing them billions.

In a statewide poll of electric ratepayers, 40 percent of those surveyed said they were not familiar with the collapse of the V.C. Summer expansion project in Fairfield County.

The joint project by the state-owned Santee Cooper utility and SCE&G, a subsidiary of Cayce-based SCANA, collapsed in July 2017, leaving power customers holding the bag for some $9 billion spent on the now-abandoned project.

The project’s failure has roiled both companies, sparked investigations and prompted action from the Legislature.

But the controversy has passed many South Carolinians by.

Slightly less than half of the S.C. residents surveyed, 48 percent, reported being familiar with the project’s collapse. Another 12 percent weren’t sure.

Part of the reason could be that not all S.C. residents get their electricity from SCE&G or Santee Cooper.

Duke Energy’s S.C. customers made up 25 percent of those surveyed, while 29 percent get their power from SCE&G and 12 percent from Santee Cooper. Another 21 percent are members of electric co-ops — that get their power indirectly from Santee Cooper — and another 13 percent get their energy from some other source or were unsure.

Only 46 percent of Santee Cooper and electric co-op customers reported being familiar with the V.C. Summer debacle.

The poll by Clout Research was conducted for the S.C. Club for Growth, a conservative free-markets advocacy group, to gauge public opinion on the potential sale of state-owned Santee Cooper. But among S.C. residents who are not Santee Cooper customers, 50 percent told pollsters they were unfamiliar with the state-backed utility.

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October 16, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

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