A decision to postpone competition in California's electric utility market won't affect Duke Energy Corp.'s decision to purchase three power plants in the state, a Duke spokesman says.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co. last month approved the sale of three plants to Duke Energy for $501 million. Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy bought the plants at auction with the intention of generating electricity and selling it in California.
California had planned to deregulate the industry Jan. 1, allowing customers to choose their electric supplier. But officials said this week that the system that controls the unified transmission grid needs more testing.
"We are not expected to close on those plants until the March-April time frame," said Duke spokesman Randy Wheeless. "After that . . . we're concerned any time there's uncertainty, but it's a little too early to get over-excited about that situation." Duke shares fell 25 cents to close at $55.31 on the New York Stock Exchange.
California plans for generators of electricity to sell their power into a power exchange, or pool, that will determine the price of electricity throughout each day. Power suppliers will buy from the exchange.