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Shorts

14 Nov

Calpine has set a shareholders’ vote on its merger with Energy Capital Partners for Dec. 15. Under the proposed merger, a subsidiary of Energy Capital Partners known as Volt would purchase Calpine at a price of $15.25 a share. If approved, Calpine stock no longer would be traded, but instead controlled by the Energy Capital […]

Generator Earnings Generally Lower

6 Nov

Independent generator earnings were generally down in the third quarter of 2017, except for bright spots at NextEra and Calpine, with the latter changing hands after ongoing losses. AES, which like most of its generating brethren, is moving to modernize a handful of once-through cooled plants along the Southern California coast, reported a fall in […]

Shorts

1 Nov

Another merchant generator bites the dust. Dynegy, which has suffered a series of losses,  is being bought by a larger Texas company. That company, Vistra Energy, is to pay $2.3 billion in an all stock sale of Dynegy, which owns 27,000 MW of power generation capacity.  The merger “is expected to create the lowest-cost integrated […]

Utility Earnings Up, But SDG&E Takes Hit on Wildfire Costs

1 Nov

Updated Nov. 2 Earnings were up at Edison International and its utility Southern California Edison, as well as at Pacific Gas & Electric and Sempra Energy’s SoCal Gas utility in the third quarter of 2017. However, San Diego Gas & Electric was hampered by a continuing dispute over whether it will be able to recover […]

OPINIONATED: Binary Geothermal Gives PV a Run for Its Money

17 Oct

By Paul Thomsen In 2017, for the first time, the combined energy and capacity values of geothermal energy significantly exceeded the value of solar photovoltaic resources in California. In the first quarter of 2017, geothermal’s wholesale energy value in Southern California was $13.50/MWh greater than solar PV. At the same time, utility estimates of marginal […]

Upcoming Nuptials for CA Power Plants

11 Oct

A large portion of traditional and renewable power generation assets is changing hands in California. Approximately 15,000 MW of assets now owned by Calpine and NRG will soon have new owners.  In addition, the status of a handful of gas-fired plants owned by NRG subsidiary GenOn is in flux. Calpine—which owns more than 6,000 MW […]

Undercurrents: $1.5 B Electric Vehicle Spending Plan Advances

4 Oct

The California Air Resources Board’s meeting laying a plan to allocate almost $1.5 billion in the coming year to advance electrification of transportation and a variety of mobile equipment used in the freight shipping industry drew a big crowd on Oct. 4. The blueprint includes $663 million of carbon emissions rights auction money raised by […]

JUICE: Energy Hangover

4 Oct

California’s continuing drive to clean up the electricity sector has big pluses, but also minuses. The latter includes unintended consequences. Last week, the drawbacks were on display at the Independent Energy Producers Association’s annual conference next to the stunning Fallen Leaf Lake above Lake Tahoe. The meeting marked yet another in a more than three-decades-long […]

Undercurrents: Storage Too Costly for Many Munis

21 Sep

As publicly owned utilities are set to establish their 2020 goals for complying with a state law meant to encourage electricity storage in California, many likely are to again defer storage system purchases. Lawmakers passed AB 2415 in 2010 to get the state’s electric utilities to install systems to store excess renewable energy and use […]

Calpine Lands $5.6 B Purchase, Sempra Buys Texas Utility for $9.5 B

21 Aug

Reflecting the contrasting financial health of investor-owned utilities and merchant generators in California are Calpine and San Diego Gas & Electric. Calpine put itself up for sale and the parent of the latter is going to pay big bucks to buy a Texas wires company. Calpine, which was the golden independent generator during California’s 2000-01 […]

Earnings Grow at PG&E & Sempra & Remain Flat at Edison

4 Aug

Utility holding company second quarter earnings reports show gains at two companies and stability at a third. Here’s a rundown of the latest results. Edison International: The parent company of Southern California Edison had earnings of $278 million in the second quarter of 2017, or 85 cents a share. That’s down from earnings of $280 […]

Calpine Seeks Buyer, Other Generators Report Lower Income

3 Aug

While the results are not all in yet, the second quarter 2017 earnings statements for merchant generators with substantial operations in California show lower net income for some, with Calpine’s continued decline driving it to put itself up for sale. AES: The company plans to release its second quarter earnings results Aug. 8. Altagas: This […]

Spending Plans Propel Electric Transportation

31 Jul

Big money is flowing into electric vehicles in California following two actions late last week. One took place in Sacramento and the other in Los Angeles. The California Air Resources Board July 27 approved the first part of a four-part spending plan on electric vehicles and vehicle charging stations by Volkswagen. The automaker’s subsidiary, Electrify […]

Shorts

31 Jul

The western Energy Imbalance Market produced $39.52 million in benefits in the second quarter of 2017 for the market participants, the grid operator reported July 31. Total benefits since the California Independent System Operator launched the EIM with PacifiCorp in 2014 were $213.24 million, with carbon emissions reductions of 28,700 metric tons from using 67,055 […]

CPUC Trims Utilities’ Return on Equity

13 Jul

Utility regulators July 13 cut the allowable return on equity for the state’s major investor-owned energy utilities between 0.05 percent and 0.15 percent for the years 2018 and 2019. The California Public Utilities Commission also promised to review the future allowable rate. The CPUC decision came this week on July 13 in response to a […]

Generator Earnings Mixed in First Quarter

9 May

Generators latest earnings report were not as grim as reported in previous quarters but also nothing to write home about. AES: This Virginia-based company continues to suffer losses. The first quarter of 2017 it reported a loss of $24 million, or minus 4 cents per share. That compares with net earnings of $126 million reported […]

Utility Parents Report Flush Earnings

9 May

California’s investor-owned utilities all reported healthy increases in net income for the first three months of 2017, with Pacific Gas & Electric reporting the most significant growth. Edison International: The parent company of the regulated utility Southern California Edison reported earnings of $362 million, or $1.11 a share, in the first quarter of 2017. That’s […]

The Buzz

13 Apr

Eggs gathered in Current’s Easter news basket include approval of two controversial and large natural gas project redos along the SoCal coast. The California Energy Commission unanimously approved the Huntington & Alamitos replacement projects, which are to be cooled with air, not seawater-cooled. On the agenda at this week’s Energy Commission post business meeting closed […]

Edison Tells Investors EV Charging is Big Business

12 Apr

One of California’s biggest electric utilities is banking on a growing number of electric vehicles on the state’s highways to provide  a business growth opportunity over the coming decade. In an April 12 briefing for investment banks, Southern California Edison executives outlined a growing need for both grid modernization to meet electric vehicle charging demand […]

Generator Earnings Largely Head Down Hill

28 Feb

AES earnings last year took a nosedive. This giant international power company based in Arlington, Virginia, suffered a loss of $1.13 billion, or minus $1.71 per share, compared to net profits of $306 million in 2015, or $0.44 a share. (more…)