Dominion Energy Inc. and SCANA Corp. announced an agreement Wednesday for the companies to combine in a $7.9 billion all stock deal. Including the assumption of debt, the value of the transaction is about $14.6 billion. The deal comes as SCANA, a South Carolina-based utility holding company, struggles to cope with the aftermath of huge cost overruns stemming from its role as majority partner in a failed nuclear reactor construction project.
Richmond-based Dominion says the transaction would benefit customers of SCANA’s South Carolina Electric & Gas subsidiary (SCE&G), which have been on the hook for much of the costs of the partially completed reactors. Dominion is proposing partial refunds and rate cuts to offset previous and future costs related to the halting of construction in July of two nuclear units at the V. C. Summer Generating Station near Jenkinsville, S.C.
The project got underway in 2008 with high hopes of jumpstarting a renaissance in clean nuclear power. However, SCANA abandoned it last summer due to rising costs, work delays and the bankruptcy of its main contractor, Westinghouse Electric Co.