Fact #1: Santee Cooper Is Financially Sound
Facts ARE Facts
We recognize there is legitimate frustration and concern regarding the impact of the V.C. Summer project on the long-term future of Santee Cooper. We accept responsibility for that. We also believe that our customers and fellow South Carolinians want and deserve to hear the accurate facts. So, it is time for a truly honest conversation. It is time to set the record straight.
Our financial position remains very strong. Not only is that the truth, it is a well-documented fact. Santee Cooper continues to maintain an “A- “or better rating from all three major credit rating agencies. The agencies identify several strengths in assigning these ratings, including: competitive rates; a long-term record of sound financial metrics; strong generation performance with below-average power production costs; economy that is positive for customer sales growth; and a broad and diverse customer base.
These agencies look beyond the rhetoric pushed by third-party groups that are spending thousands of dollars, frequently using misinformation to get the public’s attention. Our customers, partners, bondholders, and our loyal and committed employees deserve better. So, whether these groups like it or not, the truth is this: Despite all the noise and misrepresentation, Santee Cooper is, and has a plan to continue to be, financially sound.
Want proof? While the nuclear project did grow our debt, that liability is backed by over $12 billion in assets and future revenue. While covering this unanticipated nuclear liability wasn’t what we intended, we are good for it. Simply put, we haven’t written a check we can’t cash. In fact, we have already paid down our liability by over $800 million and, in terms of liquidity, we have $850 million cash on hand as of March 30, 2019. We have contributed annually to the state general fund since 1948, and this year that contribution will be $17.5 million. We pay the State, not the other way around. Common sense tells you that entities that are insolvent don’t do that. We did. If bankruptcy was just around the corner, those actions would simply not be possible.
For 85 years Santee Cooper has provided reliable, low-cost electricity to South Carolinians, while helping to grow the state’s economy. Today over 2,000,000 citizens receive low-cost power because of Santee Cooper. As a state-owned utility we are driven by what is best for our customers and South Carolina as we continue to meet our mission of improving the quality of life for all South Carolinians. We’ve been a trusted partner and a dependable provider to hundreds of thousands across the state since we were created, and we are still well positioned to continue to deliver on that important mission.