Thursday, December 22, 2005

Customers may pay for Calpine failure

California utility customers could end up footing the bill for the bankruptcy of Calpine.

The bankruptcy filing by the state's largest independent electricity generator, Calpine Corp., could lead to higher monthly bills for many ratepayers but is unlikely to result in blackouts next summer, energy regulators and analysts said Wednesday.

As the San Jose-based company seeks protection from creditors and considers selling assets, it is unlikely to shut down the bulk of its 41 generating plants in California, which contribute a steady flow of about 3,000 to 5,000 megawatts of electricity to the state grid, analysts said.