Can just anyone possibly buy Santee Cooper? No. The South Carolina government created a list of criteria for a buyer.
There are prospective buyers that meet the criteria originally laid out by the SC Legislature for a potential sale. According to the consultant report about a possible sale, bid consideration criteria to purchase Santee Cooper are:
- A minimum amount of electric utility experience
- Be investment grade
- Maintain the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license and lakes
- Full debt defeasance or assumption of the debt
- Use no state funds
- Acknowledge Central Electric under the Coordination Agreement
The measure that passed the South Carolina House of Representatives says that buyers must maintain lakes Moultrie and Marion and all of Santee Cooper’s other recreational assets; agree to partner with the state on economic development; assume Santee Cooper’s debt while reducing rates; and, protect Santee Cooper’s employees and retirees.
The criteria have been defined. Highly qualified buyers are available who can clean the slate and unburden Santee Cooper customers. The State of South Carolina can turn attention to other important issues.