COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Dominion Energy announced the completion of its merger on Wednesday with a South Carolina utility drowning in debt after the failure of a nuclear construction project.
In a news release, the Virginia-based company said that it had finalized the deal to pay $6.8 billion for SCANA Corp.’s stock and also assumed SCANA’s consolidated net debts of $6.6 billion.
Dominion was the only buyer that expressed interest in SCANA, the parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas, following the company’s abandonment of a nuclear reactor construction project at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. More than 737,000 SCE&G customers have already paid more than $2 billion toward the project, which never generated any power. State lawmakers haggled for months over possible plans to recoup some of those losses, ultimately overriding Gov. Henry McMaster’s veto of a plan that scrapped all but $5 of a monthly surcharge fee.
Last year, customers did see retroactive credits applied to bills after lawmakers passed a temporary rate cut that knocked about $25 a month off the average residential customer’s bill from April through December.
The deal approved last month by South Carolina regulators forces SCE&G customers to keep paying billions more toward the defunct endeavor over the next 20 years.
Before the deal, Dominion was already among the largest electric and gas utilities in the country. According to the utility, it now serves 7.5 million customers in 18 states. Dominion already owns a South Carolina gas pipeline, which it bought from SCANA in 2014.