WASHINGTON — The South Carolina Public Service Authority, the state’s largest issuer in 2008, will begin selling $418.6 million of tax-exempt and taxable new-money and refunding bonds today as the power utility begins to shift toward nuclear energy and away from coal-generated electricity.

Known as Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility generates electricity for about two million people in South Carolina. The authority’s largest source of electricity comes from coal, which accounts for about 70% of its power generation. Facing the economic and political issues involving coal-generated electricity, the authority’s board last year suspended a permit application for a coal power plant in favor of an investment in a partnership project to construct a $5 billion, two-unit nuclear facility next to the Summer Nuclear Station in Fairfield County.

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