Federal regulators have signed off on the proposed merger between power company SCANA and Virginia-based Dominion Energy.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave its approval this week, according to the companies. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and SCANA’s shareholders must also approve the deal.
“We are pleased by the FERC’s considered and timely action,” Dominion President and CEO Thomas F. Farrell, II, said in a statement. “It brings us closer to providing a brighter energy future for customers, communities and others served by the SCANA companies. We will continue working toward achieving the other required regulatory approvals and completing our transaction by the end of this year.”
However, South Carolina regulators still must give their own blessing. The Public Service Commission is considering the merger, although state legislators approved a law which prevents a decision before December. Also at stake is how much the newly-merged Dominion would be allowed to charge customers for the ill-fated nuclear V.C. Summer nuclear expansion project. Legislators also passed a temporary rate reduction this summer which would require SCANA’s power utility SCE&G to slash its rates by 15 percent until a decision is made. The utility is suing.
Dominion has pledged to give SCE&G customers an average $1,000 credit for money spent on the V.C. Summer work. However, that credit is contingent upon the company being allowed to continue charging to repay the project’s debt.