WASHINGTON — The Georgia Public Service Commission has approved Dominion Energy’s planned $7.9 billion acquisition of SCANA Corp., a utility provider in Georgia and the Carolinas.
The Federal Trade Commission approved the deal in February. It still needs regulatory approval in North Carolina and South Carolina, though Dominion expects the acquisition to close in 2018.
It also still needs the authorization of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The merger remains contingent on approval for SCANA shareholders.
Dominion is already one of the largest utility companies in the U.S. with more than 16,000 employees and 5 million customers. The SCANA acquisition would boost its customer base to 6.5 million customers in eight states from Connecticut to California.
Dominion and SCANA have both offered incentives aimed at winning approval, including a $1.3 billion cash payment to South Carolina Electric & Gas customers, and a 5 percent rate reduction for SCE&G residential customers.
Dominion Energy also owns one of the nation’s largest natural gas storage systems. The merger would create a company with a natural gas pipeline network totaling more than 106,000 miles and natural gas storage systems with 1 trillion cubic feet of capacity.