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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended February 09, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 09Feb01

By Kent Larsen

California Profits Bypass Power Producer AES

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- While many power producers are getting windfall profits from the current California energy crisis, AES Corp. isn't one of them. AES, one of the stocks on the Mormon Stock Index because of the Mormon heritage its chairman, Roger Sant, has three generating plants in Southern California. But the Arlington, Virginia-based company only gets a flat fee for turning natural gas into electricity at the plants.

The profits from that electricity go to AES' customer, power distribution giant, the Williams Cos. The Tulsa, Oklahoma-based firm admitted Monday that its quarterly profits had jumped 300%, in part because of the crisis. It got the profits instead of AES because the two firms signed a contract under which AES converts Williams-supplied natural gas into electricity for a flat fee. "We're basically paid to do the conversion," said Ed Blackford, manager of the Huntington Beach AES plant.

But the crisis has caused headaches for AES as local governments and media have questioned its role in the crisis. In response, AES is struggling to get approval from California regulators to bring two idled generating plants on line, making available in California an additional 450 megawatts of power, going a long way towards solving California's crisis. The plants would also bring AES some profit from the state.

But getting those plants on line will take some time. "Once we get the permit from the (California Energy Commission), we would need three months to bring the units online," Blackford said.


Energy profits hit and miss
Orange co CA Register 6Feb01 B4
By James B. Kelleher: Orange County Register
EARNINGS: While many electricity sellers are making enormous proceeds, the owner of three area plants is proof that profit is not a sure thing.


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