- SCANA Corp., parent of South Carolina Electric & Gas, and Santee Cooper revealed the price of their planned nuclear power plant will likely cost $1 billion more than budgeted, with SCANA responsible for $660 million and Santee Cooper responsible for $540 million.
- SCE&G customers have been assessed 7 rate increases by the Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSCSC) to cover costs for two Westinghouse AP1000 reactor units in an advance-fee arrangement. Consumer advocates expect this cost overrun to lead to another. In August, the utilities revealed the project is also at least 30 months behind schedule.
- Though SCANA and Santee Cooper have not accepted any financial responsibility and insist the cost increase and time delay could change, anti-nuclear activists say the overruns prove that nuclear plants are too risky to be reliable investments.
The 2,900 megawatt Summer Unit 1 went into service in 1984. The 1,117-megawatt expansion of the V.C. Summer plant was approved by the PSCSC in 2009.
The utilities will have need to obtain regulatory approval for the construction delay and any rate increases.
Contractors announced in August that construction of one unit was delayed a year, until Q4 2018 or 1H 2019, and that the other unit’s schedule will also be delayed 12 months.
Delivery of CAO1 sub-modules are causing the delays and could cost $278 million. Consumer advocates have initiated legal action to protect SCE&G ratepayers from bearing that cost. The South Carolina Supreme will decide if manufacturer Chicago Bridge & Iron must absorb the loss.
Consumer advocates asked the PSCSC in 2008 to turn down nuclear expansion in favor of renewables and energy efficiency.