Virginia-based Dominion Energy announced the completion of its “Charleston Project” this week – a natural gas infrastructure expansion that marks the company’s largest South Carolina undertaking since it began operations in the Palmetto State in 2015.
The project – which will serve mostly SCE&G customers in Charleston, Dillon, Lexington and Marlboro counties – includes 55 miles of new 12-inch diameter natural gas pipeline running from Moore to Chappells, S.C., five miles of new 4-inch natural gas pipeline in Dillon, S.C., a new compressor station in Dorchester County, and upgrades to an existing compressor station in Spartanburg County.
According to a news release from the company, the new project will provide an estimated 80,000 dekatherms per day (or enough energy to power approximately 73,000 households on a typical winter’s day). It will also produce an estimated $1.5 million in annual tax revenue to the counties along its route.
“Dominion Energy is pleased to bring this additional clean, reliable and greatly needed energy to South Carolina,” said Dan Weekley, vice president and general manager for Southern Pipeline Operations at Dominion.
Obviously Dominion is hoping to do a lot more than that in the Palmetto State, although state lawmakers continue to respond coolly to the company’s plans to purchase crony capitalist energy provider SCANA (SCE&G’s parent company) for a cool $14.6 billion.
With state lawmakers and regulators cheering them on, the two utilities spent $10 billion (including $2 billion taken directly from ratepayers) on a pair of next-generation nuclear reactors in Fairfield County, S.C. The money was spent, but the reactors were never finished. In fact they’re not even half-finished – with the cost to complete them reportedly ranging from anywhere between $9-16 billion.
Drowning in debt and unable to pay that cost, Santee Cooper pulled the plug on the reactors seven months ago – killing an estimated 5,600 jobs, squandering billions of dollars in investment and throwing the state’s energy future into chaos.
Santee Cooper is also being eyed by would-be buyers, although that process remains shrouded in mystery.
Stay tuned … we’re keeping our readers in the loop as to the ongoing drama related to both potential deals (and the consequences of their unraveling).
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