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Industry News

SCE&G to Acquire Greater Ownership Interest in New Nuclear Reactors from Santee Cooper

LCG, January 28, 2014--South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), the principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation, and Santee Cooper, South Carolina's state-owned electric and water utility, yesterday announced an agreement for SCE&G to acquire from Santee Cooper a 5 percent ownership interest in the two new nuclear units which are currently under construction at the existing V.C. Summer Station in Jenkinsville, South Carolina.

SCE&G will increase its ownership of V.C. Summer units 2 and 3 from 55 to 60 percent, and Santee Cooper will decrease its share from 45 to 40 percent. With the agreement, SCE&G will gain approximately 110 MW of nuclear generating capacity at an estimated cost of about $500 million.

The Santee Cooper Board of Directors approved the agreement yesterday. The agreement calls for a phased acquisition, with one percent to be acquired at the commercial operation date of the first new nuclear unit (which is expected to be in late 2017 or the first quarter of 2018), an additional two percent to be acquired no later than the first anniversary of such commercial operation date and the final two percent to be acquired no later than the second anniversary date of such commercial operation date.

The purchase price will be equal to Santee Cooper's actual cost of the percentage conveyed as of the date of the conveyance. Such cost is estimated to be approximately $500 million for the entire 5 percent interest based on the current project cost.

Santee Cooper has been evaluating options that would reduce its ownership level since 2011, with an objective to better match the new units' capacity with business needs when the units come online and still provide generating diversity that takes into account regulatory and fuel cost considerations.

"The past few years have shown unprecedented volatility in base load fuel costs and increasing regulatory pressures on fossil-fueled generation. Today's action reduces our costs to customers somewhat, while still preserving an ownership level that will position us well for the flexibility we will need going forward," said Santee Cooper's president and CEO.

SCANA's chairman and CEO stated, "We were pleased to work with our partner Santee Cooper to support the transfer of a portion of their ownership in the V.C. Summer new nuclear project to SCE&G. The addition of approximately 110 MW from this purchase will help us replace a portion of 345 MW of older, coal-fired generation expected to be retired over the next five years. This increment of nuclear power fits nicely into our updated Integrated Resource Plan, which is scheduled to be filed with the SC Public Service Commission in February 2014."

On March 27, 2008 - nearly six years ago - SCE&G submitted its application for combined licenses for the two AP1000 advanced passive pressurized-water reactors. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued the combined licenses (COL) for Units 2 and 3 on March 30, 2012.
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