Duke eyes stake in new Summer units

21 July 2011

Duke Energy has signed a letter of intent with Santee Cooper to negotiate a potential minority stake in Santee Cooper's 45% ownership of the two new reactors planned at the VC Summer nuclear power plant in South Carolina. The letter calls for Duke to take a 5%-10% stake of the capacity and output from the new units (about 10%-20% of Santee Cooper's ownership interest in them). This would represent a share in generating capacity of between 25 and 50 MWe from each reactor. Santee Cooper said it signed a similar letter of intent in March 2011 with Florida-based Orlando Utilities Commission for a similar proportionate share of the capacity and output from the two units. The remaining 55% of the new Summer units is owned by South Carolina Electricity & Gas (SCE&G). Summer units 2 and 3 - both AP1000 reactors - are scheduled to begin operating in 2016 and 2019, respectively. Duke said that it continues work on development activities for its proposed two AP1000s at the new William States Lee site in South Carolina.