Santee Cooper Could Sell, New Buyer Could Restart Summer Expansion

By Editors of Power Engineering

State-owned Santee Cooper could get a new owner – and that owner could revive the cancelled Summer nuclear expansion.

Both South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Santee Cooper officials told the Post and Courier they’re undergoing separate searches for buyers. McMaster said interested parties could be Duke Energy, Dominion Energy and Southern Power.

Southern Power, through its subsidiary Georgia Power, is currently assessing whether to continue construction of its own nuclear expansion at the Vogtle plant. Both Vogtle and Summer are over-budget and behind schedule, and both lost their main contractor when Westinghouse Electric filed for bankruptcy.

Santee Cooper indicated it is only looking for a buyer for its 45 percent share of the two unfinished reactors at Summer, and has found two unidentified interested parties. South Carolina Electric & Gas owns the remainder.

“We have a letter asking about interest in Santee Cooper’s share of the project going out this week to about 50 utilities and other entities in the Southeast who could enter into power purchase agreements,” Santee Cooper spokeswoman Mollie Gore told the Post and Courier.

SCANA Corp., parent company of SCE&G, had expressed interest in continuing construction of at least one of the reactors, though Santee Cooper bowed out of constructing either of them.

The Summer expansion is now valued at $9 billion.