Gov to utility: Stop charging customers for scuttled project

FILe - In this Sept. 16, 2016 file photo, a cap for a containment building for the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station is shown near Jenkinsville, S.C., during a media tour of the facility. South Carolina’s utilities are abandoning two partly-built nuclear reactors. And they want permission to charge customers another $5 billion to cover their costs. An environmentalist says that money could have gone to renewable energy. Others say nuclear is key to cooling the planet and won’t exist if the federal government doesn’t finance it. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Gov. Henry McMaster wants a utility to stop charging ratepayers for a scuttled nuclear reactor project.

In a letter to SCANA CEO Kevin Marsh, McMaster wrote Thursday that it’s “the right thing to do” for the power company to stop charging customers $37 million a month for the abandoned project at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station.

SCANA subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. and state-owned utility Santee Cooper halted the project earlier this year after the bankruptcy of lead contractor Westinghouse.

SCE&G customers have paid nearly $2 billion for the reactors. SCANA is expecting a nearly $1 billion settlement from Westinghouse parent company Toshiba, money McMaster says should also be used to repay customers.

State and federal authorities are investigating the debacle, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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