A Virginia energy company is interested in South Carolina’s state-owned power utility.
According to The State newspaper, Dominion Energy is one of at least four utilities looking at potentially buying Santee Cooper.
Gov. Henry McMaster said his office has been in contact with the utilities for several months now as a way to recover debt from the ill-fated V.C. Summer nuclear expansion. Santee Cooper owned a 45 percent stake in the venture with majority operator SCANA.
However, Dominion or any other company purchasing Santee Cooper would be getting a utility in debt from that same project.
According to the newspaper Dominion over the last three years has spent more than $100,000 on state lawmakers. Since November 2015, Dominion has also funneled $44,550 to candidates, political parties and State House caucuses, campaign records show. The records show that most of that giving came in 2015.
However, Dominion is also seeking state approval to build a natural gas pipeline across the Upstate from Greenwood County to Spartanburg County in anticipation of higher demand in the coming decades.
Any sale of Santee Cooper would require legislative approval. Earlier this week, Senate President pro tempore Hugh Leatherman and House Speaker Jay Lucas indicated they wanted an appraisal done before they would consider its sale.