Gas

Merger Partners Dominion, SCANA work out NC gas rate Roadblock with Regulators

Dominion Energy and SCANA Corp.— moving toward a $15 billion merger to create one of the nation’s biggest utility holding companies—reached a deal with North Carolina regulators on ensuring rate stability for customers of one of SCANA’s gas utilities, the companies announced Friday.

The stipulation agreement with the Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission and an intervenor focuses on one of SCANA’s assets, PSNC Energy based in Gastonia, N.C. The stock-for-stock merger still needs approvals from the full NCUC and the South Carolina Public Service Commission.

“We are pleased to have reached a settlement agreement with the Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission and an intervenor that ensures rate stability and service reliability for more than 500,000 PSNC Energy customers. This marks significant progress in our proposed merger,” reads a statement by both companies.

The proposed merger was first announced in January, only four months after SCANA and a partner abandoned work on a South Carolina nuclear project despite spending close to $9 billion and several years on it. Virginia-based Dominion’s deal included a $1.7 billion write-off of assets from the failed V.C. Summer 2 and 3 expansion, which would allow the utility to eliminate costs to customers over 20 years rather than the previously-proposed 50-60 years.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave its approval in mid-July, while SCANA shareholders signed off on the merger later that month.

If approved, the combined Dominion-SCANA utility would deliver energy to approximately 6.5 million customers. The merged generation portfolio would total close to 31,400 MW with 93,600 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines as well as 106,400 miles of natural gas pipelines.