Santee Cooper, Central Electric sign multi-billion-dollar deal - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Santee Cooper, Central Electric sign multi-billion-dollar extension

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MONCHKS CORNER, S.C. (WCIV) -- Two Lowcountry companies providing energy to 2 million South Carolinians announced Monday they had signed a multi-billion-dollar extension to an existing deal.

Officials with Santee Cooper and Central Election Power Cooperative said the deal extension would save South Carolinians money.

"Today's signing puts in place significant changes that will help make our two organizations partners in power supply planning and delivery," said Ronald J. Calcaterra, president and CEO of Central. "It will be a true and effective partnership that aligns the interests of both parties."

The boards of both organizations approved the agreement. Now the two entities are bound to each other until 2058, a long-term expansion for two groups who have already been paired up for more than 60 years.

"Today is a win for South Carolina, which has enjoyed the fruits of our partnership with Central for more than 60 years already," said Lonnie Carter, president and CEO of Santee Cooper. "One immediate benefit of this extension is it will provide the credit agencies the stability that they need as they evaluate our bonds. This should translate into lower interest rates on our debt, which helps us keep power costs low for all our customers."

"More than a year ago, the board directed staff to push hard for long-term rate and contract improvements," said Lawrence J. Hinz, Central's board chairman, "and board members were unanimous in their approval of that hard work. Congratulations to the staffs of both organizations for working together for the good of all."

O.L. Thompson, Santee Cooper Chairman of the Board of Directors, said, "From providing electricity to every corner of the state, to our work with the Power Team  and renewable Green Power, we've delivered many groundbreaking projects already. Today's signing signals more opportunity ahead for what is truly a powerful partnership."

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