Last Friday, Westinghouse Electric Co. filed a lawsuit against Santee Cooper over equipment and parts left over from the abandoned VC Summer project. According to the lawsuit, Westinghouse wants to sell some of the equipment, but Santee Cooper is thwarting such efforts to do so.
Westinghouse claims it owns some of the equipment and it could potentially be worth millions of dollars if sold.
In a statement a few days later, Santee Cooper said Westinghouse’s lawsuit would take money that could go toward lowering South Carolinians’ power bills and deliver it to “the very contractor whose bankruptcy avoided its responsibilities and contributed so greatly to the project failure.”
“Westinghouse’s claim is unconscionable, especially when considered in light of the circumstances, and is a desperate money grab attempt,” Santee Cooper wrote.
Westinghouse spokeswoman Courtney Boone responded stating the contractor wants to sell the equipment now and put the proceeds in a bank account until the companies reach a resolution deciding who gets the money.
Santee Cooper, however, disagrees stating that it owns the entire site and all of the generators, pumps, turbines, rebar, pipes, cables and other materials on it. The utility is working to sell that equipment and use the proceeds to pay off its $4 billion debt from V.C. Summer, and it doesn’t want to share with Westinghouse.
The proceeds could help lessen the rate hikes that are expected over the next four decades as Santee Cooper pays off V.C. Summer. But Santee Cooper hasn’t sold any of the equipment yet, spokeswoman Mollie Gore said. She added Santee Cooper has only been able to sell the equipment since December 2018, when SCE&G signed an agreement giving its 55 percent stake in the site to Santee Cooper.