April 13 South Carolina's state-owned electric
utility, Santee Cooper, said on Friday it signed a letter of
intent with a Mississippi public power agency for electricity
from new nuclear reactors under construction in South Carolina.
The South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SME), a
wholesale supplier to 11 co-ops with 410,000 customers in
Mississippi, may also be interested in a minority interest in
Santee Cooper's 45 percent stake in two reactors under
construction at the Summer nuclear station in South Carolina.
The letter of intent calls for negotiations regarding SME's
purchase of 2 to 7 percent of the capacity and energy output
from the new Summer units, or roughly 4 to 14 percent of Santee
Cooper's share of the output.
The letter also includes an option for South Mississippi
Electric to acquire a portion of Santee Cooper's ownership
interest. No financial terms were disclosed.
Last month, U.S. nuclear regulators approved a license for
Scana Corp and Santee Cooper to begin full-scale
construction of two new 1,100-megawatt reactors at the Summer
station. Scana holds a 55 percent stake in the new reactors.
Under a revised timeline, Scana said the units are now
expected to begin operating in 2017 and 2018.
Santee Cooper has been working to attract partners as a way
to reduce its stake to about 20 percent due to slower electric
growth projections in its territory.
Previously announced negotiations with the Florida Municipal
Power Agency and the Orlando Utilities Commission to acquire
small percentages of Santee Cooper's interest have ended without
any agreements, a Santee Cooper spokeswoman said Friday.
However, talks with Duke Energy Corp for a 5-to-10
percent share of the nuclear power from the Summer units are
ongoing, she said.
A spokeswoman for Southern Mississippi Electric said the
negotiation with Santee Cooper for additional power is unrelated
to the group's talks with Southern Co's Mississippi
utility to acquire a 17.5 percent stake in the controversial
Kemper County Integrated Gas Combined Cycle project in
The 582-MW Kemper plant is scheduled to come online in 2014,
but its certificate is being challenged in state court.