Mirant Way Down, Calpine Up as Unregulated Corps Submit Q2 Earnings

By Published On: August 15, 2008

California-based Calpine reported a big increase in profits for the second quarter this year after emerging from bankruptcy. Reliant too, was somewhat up for the quarter. Mirant posted a big loss. Dynegy and Pacific Ethanol also were down. The following is a roundup of quarterly earnings for energy companies with a footprint in California: AES–The global energy company with a small stake in California, notably the Huntington Beach power plant, reported $903 million in net income compared to $286 million in the second quarter of 2007. Its North American revenue from generation decreased, however its California units were not specified. The company has yet to reschedule the release of its fourth-quarter and full-year 2006 financial results. According to AES, the company has not finalized its accounting review for its 2006 year-end audit. Calpine–This company emerged from bankruptcy protection early this year. It reported $197 million in income, way up from a $500 million loss this time last year. On May 14, 2008, Calpine received an unsolicited proposal from NRG Energy. At the time, the proposal was determined “inadequate and undervalued” by management. According to the company, after that “Calpine and NRG exchanged certain information in order to ascertain whether there was a basis for discussions between Calpine and NRG to explore a business combination. Following the exchange of certain information, it was determined that there was no basis for entering into discussions regarding a potential business combination with NRG.” Comverge–This company supplies demand-response services to California utilities for dropping peak load. It reported a net loss in the past quarter of $9 million, compared to a loss last year at this time of $4 million. Dynegy–Dynegy bought out LS Power facilities in early April, including the 1,000 MW Morro Bay plant, the 2,529 MW Moss Landing facility, the 700 MW South Bay power plant, and an aging 165 MW plant near the Port of Oakland. It reported a $272 million net loss this past quarter compared to $72 million net income this time last year. The company also had to restate its first quarter earnings report downward. FPL Group–A Florida company–with wind, solar, and natural gas-fired power projects in California–FPL Group reported $209 million in income. Last year at this time FPL reported almost twice as much, $405 million. The downturn was blamed on its Florida base, not its California investments. While the company has a short history of wind power investments, it plans to also feature solar, according to Lu Hay, chief executive officer. SunPower inked an agreement with FPL for 35 MW of solar in the Southeast. NRG Energy–With a string of now wholly-owned older power plants with about 1,800 MW in Southern California, NRG posted $129 million in earnings this past quarter. Last year at this time net income was $149 million. Its repowering of the Long Beach plant reflected an increase in income, from $9 million to $18 million as the plant was back in service for the whole quarter. Mirant–This company reported a net loss of $832 million, compared to a loss of $83 million this time last year. Mirant owns several Bay Area power plants, one of which, Contra Costa 8, was recently sold to PG&E to be developed. Pacific Ethanol–The Sacramento-based producer reported an $8.33 million loss, compared to a $2.1 million gain in the same quarter last year. The company’s ambitious plans to produce ethanol in the state have been truncated. Its proposed facility in Southern California is on hold. Another one in Stockton appears to be in the works. Reliant–The company, with older power plants in Southern California, reported a $358 million net gain, way up from a $283 million loss this time last year. SunPower–The San Jose-based photovoltaic developer posted a quarterly net income of $39 million. Williams–This gas company, with tolling agreements for natural gas-fired power plants with AES, posted about the same income as last year at this time. Net income was $432 million. Last year it was $433 million. VeraSun–This ethanol producer posted a $23 million income this past quarter. Last year at this time it reported $15 million.

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