Tokyo-based Electric Power Subsidiary partners with AP Solar in 400 MW Texas Solar Project

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Texas Solar Project Sold to CIP

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Industry News

California Submits Evidence of Alleged Manipulation

LCG, Mar. 3, 2003--California officials continue to try to obtain $7.5 billion worth of refunds from power suppliers based on long-term contract prices signed in 2001, and said evidence they are submitting to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today was too significant to be concealed by a protective order.

The evidence, taken from transcripts of conversations between power traders, documentation of bids and plant operations, interviews with traders and company memos, was collected during a period of 100 days, an extension of the time in which the FERC had originally allowed the state to submit its findings. While Reliant Resources was fined $13.8 million for its role in having power withheld from the market during a short period during June, 2000, those involved with the current investigation have indicated that market abuse was much more prevalent and persistent than has previously been demonstrated.

According to California's findings, the San Francisco Chronicle has said, major energy companies such as Williams, Dynegy and Mirant shut down power plants that were capable of operating in order to drive prices up artificially. Companies named by California will have until March 20 to rebut the state's conclusions. FERC intends to make its determination on most of the claims for refund within a month's time.

The chairman of utility holding company Edison International, John Bryson, said information sealed under the protective order contains evidence that is "extraordinarily strong." According to Loretta Lynch, a current member and former president of the California Public utilities Commission quoted in the San Diego Tribune, "If FERC does not institute punishment that is both serious and suitable, (market manipulation) will continue and the only choice will be reregulation of the marketplace." Gary Ackerman, the executive director of the Western Power Trading Forum, said that FERC's plan to reach a conclusion on nearly all the claims within a month "sounds a little tight," and commented that "I would expect and pray my members have not done any of this and they will bring to light anything that was inappropriate in the course of this process."
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