From Scott Carlberg

Fragments of the NextEra offer for Santee Copper have been reported. Not the whole thing. Lots of data is being reviewed these days by policymakers, so it can be tough to get it all.

The view of ECC is that all proposals ought to get a good hearing to make sure that customers have the best chance to have the debt burden lifted from them. ECC will try to fill in the gaps.

One aspect of NextEra may be especially useful to note: The changes that NextEra is enacting in Gulf Power, a utility it bought from Southern Company last year. Those actions can show NextEra’s direction in a Santee Cooper transaction.

Legislators learned about important changes that NextEra is making at Gulf Power. The CEO of NextEra explained it. At Gulf Power this is happening:

  • Service reliability – the time to address an outage – improves.
  • CO2 emissions are going down 40 percent.
  • Financial efficiency in operations is improving 50 percent.
  • Bills for residential customers are going down approximately 20 percent (based on 1,000-kilowatt bill).
  • Improved efficiency with fewer people: Reductions were basically done through retirements and attrition rather than significant involuntary separations.

Pretty nice. Experience in setting and reaching business objectives is important. A record of planning and completing projects. Capability. Expertise. Getting things done well.

Policymakers can opt for surety:

  • A track record of clean and efficient energy operations.
  • Financial muscle for a future of unprecedented change in the industry.
  • A respected business partner that can attract other businesses and employment.

Policymakers can add to the resources in the Santee Cooper service territory with a sale.

Santee Cooper has nothing to lose in promising the moon to its customers and the State of South Carolina. Santee Cooper only has to perform until the vote is over, then BAU (Business As Usual).

Policymakers have the choice to vote for a proven track record or a wish-and-a-hope.