County files injunction against SCANA

VC Summer Nuclear Plant, May 2017 | Courtesy of High Flyer

WINNSBORO – In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, County Council approved a motion by Councilman Neil Robinson to authorize the County’s attorneys to move forward with the filing of a lawsuit against SCE&G/SCANA and any other necessary parties based upon SCE&G/SCANA’s failure to comply with the terms of the fee-in-lieu contract between SCE&G/SCANA and the County, and to also file a temporary restraining order to prevent SCE&G from abandoning this project and not protecting the assets at V.C. Summer.

“SCE&G and the V.C. Summer Station have been valuable members of our community for many years,” Council Chairman Billy Smith said. “However, the Council owes it to the citizens of our County to do whatever we can to recoup the financial losses created by SCE&G’s decision to abandon the project.

The County is not looking for any kind of financial windfall, we just hope that this litigation can get our County closer to the position it would have been in had SCE&G acted in good faith, diligently completed these projects, and not chosen to abandon the construction of the plants.”

The County issued a statement explaining that, on Nov. 21, 2017, Council approved filing a lawsuit against SCE&G over the decision to abandon construction of two new power plants located at the V.C. Summer nuclear power station in Jenkinsville.

In July of 2010, the County and SCE&G entered into a contract known as a fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement. That gave the utility preferential tax treatment by the County in exchange for future payments of fees by SCE&G to the County once the new nuclear units were generating power.

In reliance on the agreement, according to the statement, Fairfield County undertook a number of long term financial obligations including the issuance of $24 million in bonds to finance multiple construction projects and upgrades that were needed in anticipation of SCE&G’s operation of the plants. SCE&G’s decision to abandon the projects has left the County with significant obligations that would not have been undertaken but for the company’s representations to the County.

Also, according to the statement, the decision will cost the County millions of dollars of lost revenue from the abandonment of the fee in lieu of taxes agreement.