Florida utility wants to buy South Carolina-owned utility

A Florida power company is suggesting it might buy a South Carolina state-owned utility for nearly $16 billion.

Media outlets reported that NextEra Energy is one of several groups interested in buying Santee Cooper after the state-owned utility and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. abandoned construction of two nuclear reactors last summer.

The two South Carolina utilities spent more than $9 billion, blaming the abandonment largely on the bankruptcy of lead contractor Westinghouse.

Myrtle Beach Sen. Luke Rankin and Bonneau Sen. Larry Grooms said they have been briefed on the NextEra proposal.

Lawmakers would have to approve a Santee Cooper sale.

They also have been reviewing a proposal by Virginia-based Dominion to buy the private SCE&G. Dominion wants no major changes in a key law to complete the purchase.