South Carolina gaining 3 new state parks out of settlement with Dominion Energy

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South Carolina is set to gain three new state parks thanks to a settlement agreement with Dominion Energy after the company offered up a substantial amount of land as part of a deal to settle a tax dispute with the state.

RICHMOND, VA – JULY 06: The Dominion Energy headquarters is pictured on July 6, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images) (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images / Getty Images)

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DDOMINION ENERGY, INC.74.29+1.25+1.71%

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Over the summer, Dominion agreed to pay South Carolina $165 million to settle the tax battle that began with the state and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co, which Dominion acquired in 2019.

In 2008, the state gave SCE&G tax breaks on purchasing materials to expand its V.C. Summer nuclear power plant. But the company abandoned the project in 2017 without completing it, sparking a series of lawsuits on behalf of customers and investors who lost billions in its demise – and the state has been fighting to get back its lost tax revenue. 

An American flag flies on top of the Dominion Energy headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, U.S., on Monday, July 6, 2020. (Photographer: Julia Rendleman/Bloomberg via Getty Images) (Photographer: Julia Rendleman/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

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Now, South Carolina and Dominion have reached an agreement after the Virginia-based energy giant agreed to pay one third of the $165 million with more than 2,900 acres in property rather than cash, as was first reported by The Post and Courier.

The properties include the Pine Island Club, a 27-acre plot on Lake Murray that comes with a 9,100-square-foot conference center and several recreational facilities; a 190-acre property called Misty Lake in North Augusta that has a 6,200-square-foot clubhouse; and the 2,600-acre Ramsey Grove plantation.

South Carolina officials believe the first two properties could be converted to state parks as early as next summer, and the third by 2023.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster speaks to a crowd during an election night party for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on November 3, 2020 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images) (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images / Getty Images)

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Brian Symmes, a spokesperson for Gov. Henry McMaster, told The Post and Courier that the governor wanted the agreement to benefit all South Carolinians. "He believes that the current proposal does that in the form of access to truly some of the most beautiful and valuable property in the state," Symmes told the newspaper.

The deal isn't completely done yet, however, as it still has to get the nod from a few legislative committees, which are expected to grant approval.

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