SCANA to sell off property to pay ratepayer settlement
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A private utility ordered to pay some refunds to South Carolina customers for a pair of nuclear reactors that were never finished is selling off property.
Among the assets being sold by SCANA Corp. is a 3,000-acre plantation in Georgetown where executives went for retreats and duck hunting.
Also up for sale is a 140-year-old business office in Charleston, other offices in Aiken and North Augusta and hundreds of undeveloped acres near SCANA’s headquarters in Cayce and several acres in downtown Columbia once used as a bus parking lot, The State newspaper reported.
The money made on the sale will go to pay South Carolina Electric & Gas customers as part of a settlement over a lawsuit over the utility’s mismanagement of the construction of two nuclear plants that were never finished.
Customers owe billions of dollars for the abandoned plants at the V.C. Summer site. Regulators voted to reduce SCE&G electric rates, but customers will continue to pay monthly for the abandoned plants for 20 years.
Lawyers who negotiated the settlement as part of the lawsuit estimate the property is worth about $85 million. An additional $115 million is being taken from a trust fund to pay severance for SCANA executives.
Part of the $200 million will go to those lawyers, although the exact split between the attorneys and ratepayers has not been determined.
Regulators gave SCANA permission to sell its assets on Wednesday. The same group approved the utility’s merger with Dominion Energy of Virginia earlier this month.