Millions to pay for power ratepayers will not get

Lexington County Chronicle
August 23, 2018

By Jerry Bellune

SC Electric & Gas will ask state regulators for another $399 million.

The money is for transmission lines to send cheaper, cleaner power to more than

700,000 ratepayers.

The Public Service Commission has not yet decided how much it will get.

The Lexington County-based company wants the rate hike to upgrade its

transmission lines from the VC Summer nuclear site in nearby Fairfield County.

Although SCE&G abandoned its 2nd and 3rd nuclear construction more

than a year ago, it wants to go ahead with transmission upgrades planned for the

start of the two units.

Ratepayers will not receive SCE&G’s promised lower rates but will be expected to

pay for the new lines.

“It appears SCE&G is working overtime to figure out how they can stick ad-

ditional, unjustified costs to ratepayers,” Tom Clements of Friends of the Earth said.

“The PSC should deny in full SCE&G’s attempts to charge us for transmission

lines that were part of the abandoned nuclear project.”

Friends of the Earth is one of many groups and individuals who have filed 19 law-

suits against SCE&G.

SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce CEO Frank Knapp said, “the PSC ap-

proved the $399 million upgrade costs with the utility’s promise that the first new

nuclear plant would be online by 2016 and closely followed by the second plant

thus requiring the transmission line upgrades.

“SCE&G should not be approved to recover these upgrade costs all at once but

over time when the company can justify them with additional generation.”

SCE&G is telling the PSC it needs the upgrades to meet federal requirements.

According to Anthony James of the state Office of Regulatory Staff, SCE&G

wants the PSC to let it recover the transmission lines upgrade costs in the future.

This will not be a part of the $9 billion abandoned reactors’ costs but the existing

Unit 1 nuclear reactor.

The $37 million a month SCE&G is charging ratepayers for the abandoned project

is to pay off its financing costs, not construction.


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