Thursday, February 07, 2008

A "Leaner, Greener" Calpine

One week out of bankruptcy, Calpine boss Robert May is giving himself what may turn out to be a well-deserved pat on the back.

May took the reins in late 2005 when the company was saddled with $18 billion in debt and was preparing to file bankruptcy. Now, a little more than two years later, the company has shuttered 19 offices and 12 power plants. It operates 80 plants all of which are either gas-fired or geothermal, and thus in sync with California's demand for cleaner energy.

According to the San Jose Mercury News:

"The "old" Calpine ran into trouble because of an aggressive expansion strategy. With about 6,000 megawatts of generating capacity in 2001, the company said it would expand to 70,000 megawatts by 2005, making it the nation's biggest power company."

Critics say the California energy market has not changed sufficiently for a company like Calpine to prosper, but May believes he's offering the right product at the right time.