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Georgia PSC approves Dominion-SCANA merger

Staff Report //March 21, 2018//

Georgia PSC approves Dominion-SCANA merger

Staff Report //March 21, 2018//

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Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Energy's proposed merger with SCANA Corp. got a boost Tuesday when the Georgia Public Service Commission unanimously approved the merger, becoming the first state to act on it.

“We appreciate the prompt action by chairman (Lauren) McDonald and the other commissioners in moving forward with our proposal,” Dominion CEO Tom Farrell said in a news release. “This is an important step in bringing a brighter energy future to customers, communities and others served by the SCANA companies. We look forward to receiving additional required regulatory approvals and completing our transaction by the end of this year.”

The $14.6 billion merger proposal, announced in January, combines the companies to deliver energy to almost 6.5 million regulated customer accounts.

The merger must also receive the approval of SCANA’s shareholders, review and approval from the S.C. and N.C. public service commissions and authorization of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Federal Trade Commission previously granted early termination of the 30-day waiting period under the federal Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

The proposed merger has run into legislative stumbling blocks as the S.C. House passed bills that dealt blows to its completion. Among other measures, the House approved legislation that would halt customer payments to SCANA subsidiary S.C. Electric & Gas for costs of the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project and repeal the Base Load Review Act, the state law that allows SCANA to collect such fees.

Dominion has said that it must be allowed to continue to recoup V.C. Summer-related costs from ratepayers, albeit under a plan that would shorten the period of customer liability and refund ratepayers some of their money.

The S.C. Senate has also approved a waiting period for the PSC to act on the merger that could stretch into 2019, a schedule Dominion has said is unworkable.