Calpine powers up for increased summer electricity demand

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 17 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) — With several states, including California, facing possible power supply shortages this summer, Calpine Corporation’s fleet of energy-efficient and renewable power plants stands ready to meet the high power demand period.

Since its founding in San Jose, Calif., 20 years ago tomorrow, Calpine has grown from a small energy services provider to the nation’s largest independent power company, capable of generating more than 25,000 megawatts of electricity. This represents enough power to supply 25 million U.S. households. In California alone, Calpine’s portfolio of plants in operation, under construction and in development, meet 15 percent of the state’s capacity for electricity. Calpine also produces 10 percent of California’s natural gas needs.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) recently reported that California faces risk factors that include increased demand for electricity (up about four percent from last summer), fewer new plants being built, a greater reliance on power imports and continued transmission congestion. Adding to these risk factors is the state’s aging power fleet. Currently, more than half of the state’s natural gas-fired plants are more than 25 years old. The CEC also forecasted reserve margins could drop from 12.2 percent to as low as 5 percent under extremely hot weather conditions in July and August.

“Electricity is the lifeblood of our economy and a significant determinant of our quality of life,” stated Peter Cartwright, Calpine’s founder, chairman and CEO. “Looking back on 20 years of service to the power industry, I am proud of Calpine’s contributions to providing such a vital product, especially to our home state.

“In California, and across the country, we have a tremendous opportunity to rebuild today’s aging power fleet with energy-efficient, reliable and competitive power generation, and do this in a manner that protects our environment while ensuring ratepayers benefit from fair and transparent markets.”

Since the California energy crisis, Calpine has added 2,600 megawatts of new capacity in the Golden State. Two facilities came on line in time to meet the 2001 summer peak demand, providing 1,100 megawatts of much needed power. The company currently has three plants in construction in California and has permits in place to start construction for 6 new plants. Equally important, Calpine operated all of its California plants whenever the state needed power, even during periods when fuel prices meant the company operated at a financial loss.

“Similar to how California has a need to expand its highways, education and housing infrastructure, it must also modernize its power infrastructure,” Cartwright said. “Calpine remains committed to helping meet the challenges of the state’s and nation’s power industry.”

Calpine – Celebrating 20 years of clean, reliable power

Calpine Corporation celebrates 20 years in power as a leading North American power company dedicated to providing electric power to customers from clean, efficient, natural gas-fired and geothermal power plants. The company generates power at plants it owns or leases in 21 states in the United States, three provinces in Canada and in the United Kingdom.
Calpine is also the world’s largest producer of renewable geothermal energy, and owns or controls approximately one trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved natural gas reserves in the United States and Canada. The company is listed on the S&P 500 and was named FORTUNE’s 2004 Most Admired Energy Company. The company was founded in 1984 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CPN. For more information, visit

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