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Warren Harley

Bowman native Warren Harley is manager of Orangeburg’s Department of Public Utilities.

Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities customers will see no impact on utility rates if SCANA Corp. is purchased by a Virginia-based utility, the DPU manager says.

City-owned DPU purchases power from South Carolina Electric & Gas, a subsidiary of SCANA.

Six years ago, DPU entered into a $700 million contract with SCE&G to provide power until the end of December 2022.

“At this time we do not anticipate the proposed purchase by Dominion will have an immediate impact on our customers," DPU Manager Warren Harley said. "The current agreement with SCE&G addressed the construction costs related to the nuclear plant."

"It delayed any related increases to coincide with the anticipated completion dates, which at the time were 2017 or 2018," Harley said. "Since these units were abandoned by SCE&G, no such payment will be required."

Harley noted DPU's existing contract with SCE&G is good for the next four years.

"The current contract is valid through 2022 and we do no believe that the proposed change in ownership will have an immediate impact on our contract," he said.

Dominion and SCANA announced Jan. 3 they would merge.

The $14.6 billion deal includes about $1.3 billion in refunds to South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. customers, who have so far been charged about $2 billion to fund the company's debt on the nuclear project.

The proposed merger comes on the heels of SCE&G abandoning construction of new reactors at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station last summer after the bankruptcy of contractor Westinghouse.

Dominion says its offer to buy is contingent upon being able to continue charging ratepayers over 20 years for the nuclear project. Though the timetable and amounts are reduced from what SCANA had planned, S.C. lawmakers have balked at the idea of ratepayers continuing to pay for the nuclear project.

SCANA and Santee Cooper, South Carolina's state-owned utility, had spent about $9 billion on the project, which now sits idle. Thousands lost their jobs in the failure, and state and federal authorities are investigating.

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Contact the writer: or 803-533-5551. Check out Zaleski on Twitter at @ZaleskiTD.


Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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