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Columbia, SC and Moncks Corner, SC, August 24, 2005 - With South Carolina's energy needs continuing to grow, South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (SCE&G), principal subsidiary of SCANA Corporation (NYSE: SCG), and Santee Cooper announced today that they will consider the possibility of extending their present nuclear generation joint ownership arrangement to study constructing a new nuclear generation facility to meet forecast electric generation needs beginning in the year 2015.
"The process to permit and build any major base load generation facility can take eight to 10 years," said SCE&G President Neville Lorick, who noted that generation planning is an ongoing process at the company. "To ensure we're in position to meet our area's future power needs, it's important that we begin the planning process now."
This evaluation process will involve consideration of various types of base-load generation, including natural gas- fired plants, coal-fired plants and nuclear plants. "As we have done in the past, we will analyze and understand the cost and impact of all of our options," Lorick said.
"As the state's primary regulated electric utility, we have an obligation to provide our customers today and in the future with safe, reliable service while also being good stewards of the environment. Meeting that obligation requires that we plan ahead and prepare for the expanding generation needs of our service territory, as well as continuing to meet ever increasing federal clean air requirements in the most cost effective manner."
Lorick said teaming up with Santee Cooper to evaluate the nuclear option makes sense, as SCE&G already works successfully with Santee Cooper in the generation of electricity through V.C. Summer Nuclear Station near Jenkinsville, S.C.
"South Carolina must be committed to investing in its future energy needs in order to maintain our quality of life and meet our growing energy demands," said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper president and chief executive officer. "As we analyze the next generation of energy for our customers, nuclear may emerge as a viable option, for it is very clean environmentally and will help our state and country become more energy independent."
"Continuing to work jointly with SCE&G makes smart business sense given our ongoing positive experiences with them at the Summer Nuclear Station," said Carter.
Santee Cooper is South Carolina's state-owned electric and water utility and serves 146,000 residential and commercial customers in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties. The utility also generates the power distributed by the state's 20 electric cooperatives to more than 650,000 customers in all 46 counties. In total, almost two million South Carolinians receive their power directly or indirectly from Santee Cooper. For more information, visit www.santeecooper.com.
SCE&G is a subsidiary of SCANA Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Columbia, SC. SCANA is an energy-based holding company principally engaged, through subsidiaries, in electric and natural gas utility operations and other energy-related businesses. Information about SCANA and its businesses is available on the Company's Web site at www.scana.com.