After extensive negotiations, Santee Cooper is poised to sell a stake in the nuclear reactors it's helping to build in the Midlands to a North Carolina-based energy giant.
The state-owned power and water utility said Friday its board will vote Monday on a resolution to sell "an undivided ownership interest" in the two units.
The move follows two special closed-door meetings that Santee Cooper called this month about the proposed deal with Duke Energy.
The power companies have been negotiating the terms of a sale of the new units at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station in Jenkinsville for nearly three years.
Santee Cooper said it had no comment Friday about the resolution.
Duke spokesman Rick Rhodes said the Charlotte-based company is awaiting the outcome of the vote in Pinopolis.
"We've been in discussions with them regarding our interest in their ownership of V.C. Summer," Rhodes said Friday. "But at this time we will choose to wait until Santee Cooper's resolution is finalized after the board meeting Monday before providing additional comment."
Santee Cooper is responsible for 45 percent of the costs of adding two reactors to the nuclear power station north of Columbia.
Santee Cooper has estimated it will have to spend a total of $5.1 billion on construction and other expenses associated with the project.
A sale to Duke will lighten that financial burden.
Moncks Corner-based Santee Cooper began to look at reducing its ownership in V.C. Summer about four years ago, after its biggest customer decided to shift some of its business to Duke.
Santee Cooper began seeking investors or buyers for its part of the nuclear project because it no longer had a short-term need for the extra power.
Duke entered the picture in mid-2011. It's been negotiating to buy 20 percent of Santee Cooper's ownership stake, or about 9 percent of the total project.
The new nuclear reactors are expected to come online in 2018 and 2019.
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