- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina’s state-owned electric utility will study whether it needs to raise its electric rates to pay for future operations, including building two nuclear reactors.

Santee Cooper announced its board authorized the study on Friday.

Along with the parent firm of South Carolina Electric & Gas, Santee Cooper is building two new reactors at the Summer Nuclear plant near Columbia.

Santee Cooper owns 45 percent of the total project originally projected at $10 billion. Those costs have recently increased by another $1 billion.

The rate study will take several months and any recommendation will be presented to the Santee Cooper board next June.

If an increase is recommended, there would be a public comment period before a vote late next year. There would be no increase before 2016.

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