State-owned utility Santee Cooper is slated to get a settlement from Westinghouse’s parent company Toshiba after its bankruptcy while building a failed nuclear expansion at the V.C. Summer generating plant in Fairfield County.
But a bill discussed during a special Senate panel meeting Tuesday would prevent the utility from spending that settlement money. State Sen. Shane Massey, R-Edgefield, said the bill will be pre-filed next month.
Massey said senators want to take a wait-and-see approach after the project’s abandonment this summer. “To kind of keep that status quo with that money and not prejudice it for one thing,” he said. “But I know there are plans from the Santee Cooper board to maybe act on that. There is going to be a bill pre-filed to stop that.”
Santee Cooper is in line to get $900 million as part of the settlement, in addition to $1.2 billion for its partner on the project South Carolina Electric & Gas.
Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, will introduce the proposal ahead of the deadline for Senate legislation to be pre-filed ahead of their return to session in January.
Senators are taking a more cautious approach compared to their counterparts in the House. The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday advanced six separate bills to the floor while senators debated. The legislation, which ranges from revamping how utilities are regulated to requiring partial refunds to ratepayers, will be taken up when the full House returns to session in January.
Santee Cooper and SCE&G decided in July that finishing the two new reactors was out their reach.