Despite big plans for a merger between the Blackstone Group and Dynegy, who ultimately will own the independent generator\u2019s California power plants hangs in the balance. Should the acquisition go through, under a side agreement, NRG is expected to purchase Dynegy\u2019s plants in California. If the deal isn\u2019t consummated, NRG would have more investments freed up for solar development in California. Dynegy was once a powerhouse corporation that nearly acquired Enron, but today it\u2019s being buffeted by financial winds. The Blackstone Group was initially set to purchase the company, but two other groups have recently purchased large amounts of Dynegy stock in order to sway the acquisition. Seneca Capital picked up a 9.3 percent share in Dynegy. Carl Ichan purchased a 9.95 percent stake in the company. Dynegy did note that its California operations have been a drain on its income. Moss Landing required more investment for maintenance in the last year, according to the company, while the power plant\u2019s maximum capacity utilization was reduced from 37 percent last year to 19 percent in 2010. Shareholders are set to vote Nov. 17 on the new owner. In another planned merger, RRI and Mirant would create a new company to manage both generators\u2019 power plants. In all, Mirant noted that its stake in Bay Area power plants remains strong--about 1,160 MW in the Pittsburg area, plus new construction for Marsh Landing that would peak in investment in 2017 at $180 million. Aside from owning California operations, all the merging independent generators have something else in common--Mirant, Dynegy, and NRG also have filed for bankruptcy reorganization since the 2000-01 energy crisis. Dynegy--The company posted a $27 million loss this quarter, compared to a $212 million loss the third quarter of 2009. It owns 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. NRG Energy--This company posted net income of $223 million this quarter, compared to $278 million at this time last year. If The Blackstone Group acquires Dynegy, NRG is set up to buy out Dynegy\u2019s California assets. That would make NRG the largest unregulated power generator in the state. \u201cIf The Blackstone acquisition does not proceed, it\u2019s a good time to invest in high-risk solar projects,\u201d said company chief executive officer David Crane. He noted that more projects like California\u2019s Ivanpah and Avenal could be in the pipeline. This New Jersey company operates 2,130 MW of fossil-fueled power plants on California\u2019s south coast. It\u2019s developing nine photovoltaic sites in California and Arizona after acquiring U.S. Solar in June. According to NRG, its interest in investing in nuclear power plants in Texas is waning. NRG announced last month that it would partner with BrightSource on its 392 MW solar project slated for the Mojave Desert. NRG plans to invest $300 million over three years, making it the lead private investor in the Ivanpah solar thermal facility. It\u2019s projected to be online in mid-2013, according to the company. NRG also owns a 21 MW photovoltaic facility in Blythe. It also has partnered with Eurus Energy America on three PV projects expected to generate 45 MW. Mirant--Entering a merger with RRI, Mirant posted $254 million in net income for the quarter compared to a much smaller $55 million this time last year. The Department of Justice is expected to clear the merger by the end of the year, according to both companies. Mirant has power plants in the Bay Area. Mirant signed a 719 MW deal with PG&E to provide power from a fossil-fueled plant in the East Bay called Marsh Landing. That deal was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission July 29 after heavy lobbying. According to Mirant, it expects to invest $37 million in Marsh Landing this year, with up to $180 million in 2017. The company does plan to shut a couple plants in the Bay Area. One is Contra Costa unit 6 in 2013 and the other is the Potrero plant in San Francisco in \u201ca few months,\u201d according to management. RRI--Reporting a gain of $22.8 million for the third quarter 2010 versus a loss of $15.4 million this quarter last year, the company has 3,394 MW of older power plants in Southern California. Its in-state operations are expected to reap $108 million in 2010, according to the company. RRI plans to merge with Mirant, but requires about $1.8 billion in financing. Still, it reported the merger should be complete by the end of the year. After joining with Mirant, the new, post-merger company is to be called GenOn.