Santee Cooper CEO Carter To Step Down

Santee Cooper on Friday announced the resignation of Chief Executive Officer Lonnie Carter, who has served as the head of the state-owned utility since 2004 and has worked there since 1982.

Lonnie CarterWhile his tenure includes approval of the expansion project at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Power Station, many will remember him as the man in charge when Santee Cooper pulled the plug on the project on July 31, along with majority owner SCANA, which followed suit after Santee Cooper backed out.

Carter testified this week about the project at a state Senate hearing in Columbia. Carter and others blamed the project's demise on Westinghouse Electric Company, the lead contractor and designer of the AP1000 reactors, which declared bankruptcy in March.

As part of their testimony, the Associated Press reported that executives claimed Westinghouse never produced a viable schedule for the project's completion, noting this contributed to delays. Carter said Westinghouse produced a “generic” schedule only. On the ground, “They'd stray off of them (six-month schedules that were provided) in four to six weeks and have to reschedule,” Carter said.

Meanwhile, the budget for the project continued to soar; it was estimated in 2008 that the two reactors would cost $11 billion; current estimates now hover around $20 billion.

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