Federal regulators give blessing to SC utility merger plan

A deal to merge troubled South Carolina utility SCANA with Dominion Energy has cleared another hurdle.

Dominion announced Tuesday the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission had approved the indirect transfer of the operating license for the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station from SCANA subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. to the Virginia-based company.

SCANA suddenly needed a buyer after spending $5 billion on a pair of reactors abandoned a year ago at V.C. Summer. Thousands of people were left jobless in the debacle, which has spawned more than a dozen lawsuits.

SCANA shareholders voted in July to approve the deal, which gives Dominion more of a foothold in South Carolina. More approvals are needed from the public service commissions of North and South Carolina.