California renewable energy firms form creditors' committee

California's energy troubled continued to mount Friday, with formation of a second creditors' committee to review member's options with respect to the failure of Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) to pay its wholesale power bills. The group of wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and landfill gas electricity generators said they formed a creditors' committee to consider options in light of SCE's alleged failure to pay $210 million for electricity produced by the group in California.


By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Feb. 16�California's energy troubles continued to mount Friday, with formation of a second creditors' committee to review member's options with respect to the failure of Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) to pay its wholesale power bills.

Neither creditors' committee has, however, spelled out its plans. The group of wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and landfill gas electricity generators said they formed a creditors' committee to consider options in light of SCE's alleged failure to pay for electricity produced by the group in California.

Southern California Edison, a unit of Edison International, has failed to pay the group $210 million for power generated since November, eight companies said in a joint press release.

Earlier, Reliant Energy Inc., Dynegy Inc., and Mirant Corp. (formerly Southern Energy Inc.) formed a creditors committee to pursue �options� to seek payment for millions of dollars in unpaid power bills from SCE and Pacific Gas & Electric Co., a unit of PG&E Corp.

Caithness Energy LLC, CalEnergy Co., CalWind Resources Inc., Coram Energy Group LTD, enXco Inc., FPL Energy LLC., Ogden Energy Group, and Wintec said they have continued running units without pay to avoid worsening the crisis, but continued nonpayment places the generators in an untenable position

Taken together, the generators produce 2,400 Mw of electricity, enough to power 2.4 million homes. Committee members said the current situation is not viable on an ongoing basis.

They noted committee members have incurred debts and obligations for the power already provided and have ongoing salaries for 800 workers and bills to pay. Exploring options as a group is the only reasonable alternative, the committee said.

The committee said is considering its remedies with respect to Southern California Edison's nonpayment. and called on the legislature and the governor to "promptly enact a bill that includes provisions allowing Edison to pay green generators for past due amounts and for energy delivered going forward."

Cash-strapped Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and Southern California Edison have accumulated $12 billion in uncollected power expenses. In January, the utilities stopped payments on certain debt and to the California Independent System Operator and the California Power Exchange.

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