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Generators Seek to Halt Edison Purchase

March 31, 2004|From Bloomberg News

San Jose-based Calpine Corp. and other electricity producers in California said U.S. regulators should reverse a decision allowing Edison International to buy a power plant under construction in the state.

The plan would stifle competition and lead to higher prices for California's electricity consumers, the power producers said in filings Tuesday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The other generators include Duke Energy Corp., AES Corp. and Williams Cos.

Edison International, based in Rosemead, plans to use an unregulated subsidiary to buy the 1,054-megawatt Mountainview plant, then sign a 30-year contract to sell the power to its regulated utility, Southern California Edison. Calpine and the other producers argue that the no-bid contract guarantees Edison profit that isn't warranted by current market prices.

"There was no competitive bidding whatsoever, and there was no solicitation for other power contracts," said Calpine spokesman Kent Robertson.

Edison has said its purchase of the Mountainview project in Redlands from Intergen, a joint venture of Royal Dutch/Shell Group and San Francisco-based Bechtel Group Inc., is needed to ensure that the plant is completed. The plan was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in December.

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