Sempra went against the investor-owned utility earnings stream, tripling profits from the third quarter last year. The state's two other investor-owned utilities showed downturns in their quarterly earnings reports. The most interesting news was not, however, the utilities' bottom lines but their future plans. Sempra might be seeking new business partners for its ventures. Pacific Gas & Electric revealed that it is once again looking into investing in nuclear power plants, 20 years after it built the most expensive plant in the nation (Circuit, Aug. 4, 2006). Edison International's plans were not front-page news, it noting only that its two 500 MW peaking plants in Southern California in the queue were going to bid into its own utility's request for offers for new power plants in the Los Angeles Basin. Sempra, the parent company of SoCal Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric, showed a second-quarter 2006 income of $373 million - three times that of the same quarter last year, $121 million. Of that, SDG&E reported $65 million for the quarter, compared to $29 million in the second quarter of 2005. SoCal Gas showed $58 million for the quarter - unchanged from a year ago. Sempra generation, which dropped plans to develop coal plants last quarter, reported $17 million in income, compared to $22 million in the second quarter last year. The lower profit was mostly from selling gas-fired power plants in Texas, according to the company. The sale of its coal-fired Coleto Creek plant was completed July 7. That should result in a company gain of $208 million for the next quarter, according to the company. Sempra LNG lost $17 million this past quarter, compared with a $5 million loss this time last year. The company is developing terminals in Baja California and Louisiana. Sempra Pipeline & Storage reported $28 million for the quarter, compared to $16 million for the quarter last year. Its major new project is the Rockies Express, of which it owns 25 percent (Circuit, July 28, 2006). SDG&E's rise in income was attributed in part to putting the 550 MW Palomar power plant on line. The 573 MW Otay Mesa plant being built by Calpine is under negotiations with the utility, according to Ed Guiles, Sempra Utilities president. He said there's a letter of intent to continue with a 10-year power-purchase agreement for the plant's output, but with put and call options on price. He added that the utility would have the ability to buy the plant in 2019. Sempra executives noted that they may get into the mergers and acquisitions business. "If business continues to grow, at some point we may be looking for partners," said Don Felsinger, chair and chief executive officer. PG&E Corporation earnings for the quarter were posted at $232 million, versus $267 million for the same quarter last year. PG&E, the utility, accounted for most of that income, reporting $227 million for the most recent quarter, compared to $272 million this time last year. Peter Darbee, PG&E Corp. president and chief executive officer, stressed that the company is still reorganizing its internal ways of doing business. He wants it to be "the leading utility in the U.S." Darbee also emphasized the company's idea of "reducing its carbon footprint." To do that, he said, PG&E is interested in investing in out-of-state nuclear power plants. The internal reorganization has cost $290 million, according to Chris Johns, PG&E's chief financial officer. He said that the company expects net benefits from the investment in 2008. Edison International's earnings totaled $177 million this quarter, compared to $201 million last year. Southern California Edison contributed $234 million for the quarter, compared to $161 million last year, but Edison Mission Group lost $56 million. Last year it posted a profit of $25 million. In addition to the parent company's plans to bid two 500 MW peaking plants into its procurement process, the utility may accelerate its installation of advanced meters by a year, according to John Bryson, chair and chief executive officer of the parent company. Invoking the recent heat wave, Bryson said that delivering power was "a challenging situation." He stressed that in order to add additional power to the territory, regulators should agree with Edison to allocate the costs of procuring that power beyond Edison's own utility territory - a concept that regulators at first dismissed but recently have warmed up to (Circuit, April 14, 2006).