The manufacturing process for Century Aluminum is extremely electricity dependent, requiring at full capacity 400 megawatts of electricity per year. That level of use (400 megawatts would power 80,000 homes) means that electricity is about 40% of the cost of operating the plant, its single highest expense. Unfortunately, high energy costs risk putting it out of business.
Earlier this summer, Palmetto Promise Institute conducted an in-depth study of aspects of Santee Cooper’s finances. Due to the opaque nature of Santee Cooper’s finances, our research was based on Santee Cooper published sources, legal filings, correspondence to elected officials, legislative hearings, and the reporting of The State and The Post & Courier.
Throughout the fall of 2017, as another football season came and went, PPI watched and waited for someone—anyone—to step up for Santee Cooper customers. Thanks to the actions of two special legislative committees, the public did learn a lot about the demise of V.C. Summer, but there was a clear message: tackle SCE&G first, then Santee Cooper.
Thursday, the South Carolina Senate made significant progress on the Santee Cooper issue. A Joint Resolution, H.4287, passed by a vote of 42-1. It now goes back to the South Carolina House of Representatives.
Why do key business and government leaders believe a sale of Santee Cooper is in the best interest of consumers?
PPI’s priorities got a boost this week when key players made it clear that the time for action has come. Kudos to them.
Multiple purchase proposals both eliminate nuclear debt and cut electricity rates.
During those mad, mad days at the end of December, known as the Christmas holiday news hole, a number of bombshells dropped. Here are two that you will want to know about. Progress on the sale of Santee Cooper. Avery Wilks of The State reports that on the day before the state Public Service Commission
Palmetto Promise has spoken out strongly on what should happen to Santee Cooper, the state-owned partner in the V.C. Summer nuclear debacle. We correctly predicted future rates and provided a hard figure on what Santee Cooper customers will be paying per day over the 38 years it will take to pay off the nearly $15 billion in principal and interest owed.
Since 1969, when state lawmakers passed the Territorial Assignment Act, energy providers in South Carolina have enjoyed monopoly market power over the defined geographical areas in which they operate.