A Florida-based power company is proposing a $15.9 billion purchase plan to take over state-owned utilitySantee Cooper.
The State newspaper reports NextEra Energy is interested in the utility which state lawmaker proposed selling went up for sale after it and private utility SCANA abandoned a $9 billion effort to build two new nuclear reactors in Fairfield County.
Since the aftermath of the failed project, some state leaders feel the only way to make up for Santee Cooper’s nuclear-related debt is to sell the utility. NextEra has been briefing lawmakers as it assesses legislators’ interest in a deal before seeking their approval to buy Santee Cooper. Santee Cooper has roughly $8 billion in debt, a majority of it due to the ill-fated nuclear project.
NextEra has said it only wants to buy Santee Cooper’s power plants and transmission lines. The company is not interested in buying the state-owned utility’s water system, recreational lakes or real estate holdings.
Gov. Henry McMaster has been shopping Santee Cooper to various companies, including NextEra. The governor’s spokesman told the paper last week he would not permit the state agency’s sale unless its buyer also took on the debtl