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What will ratepayers have to pay to resolve fight over failed V.C. Summer nuclear project?

Dominion wants a deal to end the SC nuclear fight. Here’s what it could cost ratepayers. By Andrew Brown, Dec 3, 2018   COLUMBIA — For 15 days, South Carolina’s utility regulators reviewed testimony and sorted through mountains of evidence on the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project in order to decide how much S.C. Electric & Gas customers should pay for two unfinished reactors.

But as the high-stakes hearing wrapped up last week, the utility regulators were asked to consider one more thing.

Dominion Energy wanted the commissioners to review a new offer that would allow the Virginia-based energy company to seal its proposed takeover of SCE&G’s parent, SCANA Corp. It was the third plan Dominion pitched to regulators.

  • Less than four days later, SCANA announced another deal — this time with several law firms that were suing the company in a class action lawsuit on behalf of SCE&G ratepayers. That legal settlement threw support behind Dominion’s plans in the state Public Service Commission and is contingent upon the regulators giving the utilities what they want.
  • With a decision from regulators due by Dec. 21, here’s some explanation of what this dual settlement offer could mean for ratepayers, who have already dumped more than $2 billion into the abandoned nuclear project and who face paying more in the future.
  • What does Dominion’s latest offer in the Public Service Commission include? 
  • The initial plan from Dominion called for the average SCE&G ratepayer to receive a roughly $1,000 refund check but required customers to pay another $3.8 billion for the reactors.
  • Dominion has since offered to do away with the refund checks if the utility commissioners don’t like the idea. Instead, the company offered to further reduce how much customers pay for the abandoned reactors moving forward.
  • Under the more recent plan, residential and business ratepayers would be required to pay another $2.3 billion for the reactors over the next two decades. ………
  • What other plans are the state’s utility regulators considering? 
  • The Office of Regulatory Staff is sticking to its plan. Customers will still have to pay for the reactors moving forward, due to the 2007 state law that allowed SCE&G to charge customers in advance for the project.
  • But under the utility watchdog’s plan, the average residential ratepayers would kick in a little more than $5 per month for the failed project.
  • Overall, all SCE&G’s customers will pay back $1.7 billion over the next two decades under that plan, according to the Office of Regulatory Staff. ……..
  • What does the new settlement in the class action lawsuit do? 
  • The press release announcing the pending legal settlement mentioned $2 billion in rate relief for SCE&G customers. But that money was already part of the deal that Dominion put forward in the Public Service Commission.
  • In reality, SCANA and the trial attorneys representing SCE&G ratepayers plan to settle the high-stakes case for $115 million, which matches the money set aside in golden parachutes for SCANA executives let go after the Dominion sale, and whatever money can be made from the sale of several SCANA properties, including an office in downtown Charleston.
  • …………

December 4, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, USA

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