About Calpine Corporation

Independent power producer and marketer Calpine controls nearly 26,000 MW of generating capacity and some 830 MW under construction through interests in about 80 primarily natural gas-fired power plants in 25 US states, Canada, and Mexico. This fleet also includes more than 10 geothermal power plants in California. Calpine, the leading geothermal power producer in North America, owns 760 MW of capacity at the largest geothermal facility in the US (the Geysers in northern California), which accounts for 40% of the country's geothermal energy. The company has major presence in the wholesale power markets in California, the Mid-Atlantic, and Texas. In 2017 the company agreed to sell itself to a consortium led by private equity firm Energy Capital Partners for $5.6 billion.

Change in Company Type

In August 2017 Calpine agreed to be bought for about $5.6 billion by Energy Capital Partners and a consortium of investors led by Access Industries and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The deal removes Calpine from the ranks of publicly traded energy generation companies, which have not been treated well by capital markets. The change in ownership, due to become effective in early 2018, was not expected to bring about major operational changes at Calpine.

Operations

Calpine’s segments are West (including geothermal), Texas and East (including Canada). Texas accounts for more than 40% of Calpine's revenues in 2015; the East, about a third; and the West, about a quarter.

Other Calpine operations include construction, consulting, and management services; turbine component manufacturing; and critical power provision for high-tech companies.

Its indirect subsidiaries include Calpine Construction Finance Company L.P., (and its units Hermiston Power LLC and Brazos Valley Energy LLC) and Calpine Development Holdings Inc.

Its subsidiaries include Calpine Newark, LLC; Calpine Northbrook Holdings Corp.; Calpine Northbrook Investors LLC; Calpine Northbrook Project Holdings LLC; and Calpine Operating Services Company Inc.

Geographic Reach

Serving customers in 25 US states, Canada, and Mexico, Calpine's operating segments are West (including geothermal), Texas, and East (including Canada). The company has regional offices in Dublin (California), Wilmington (Delaware), Pasadena (Texas), Washington DC, Sacramento, and Austin (Texas).

California, Texas, and the Northeast region are the largest wholesale power markets in the US.

Sales and Marketing

Calpine sells wholesale power, steam, capacity, renewable energy credits, and ancillary services to utilities, independent electric system operators, industrial and agricultural companies, retail power providers, municipalities, power marketers, and others.

Calpine's utility electricity is distributed via its distribution network, underground lines, and transmission system.

The company sells electricity to wholesalers, and end-users, primarily through long-term contracts; the firm also trades power on the wholesale market.

Financial Performance

In 2016 Calpine’s revenue increased 4% to $6.7 billion from 2015, driven by the performance of the East, up 15%, and Texas, up 19%, segments. Revenue from the West segment, however, slipped 25% in 2016 from the year before on lower contribution from hedges because of lower power prices at the company’s Geysers Assets from lower forward natural gas prices.

The commodity margin in the Texas segment dropped 11% in 2016 because of lower realized Spark Spreads resulting from a decrease in hedge value and lower market liquidations. The commodity margin in the East segment increased by $14 million in 2016 from 2015 from the net year-over-year effect of the company’s portfolio management activities, which included the acquisition of the 695 MW Granite Ridge Energy Center in 2016 and the start of commercial operations at the 309 MW Garrison Energy Center in 2015.

Calpine’s profit slid about 60% to $92 million in 2016 from 2015 on higher energy prices.

Cash from operating activities increased to about $1 billion in 2016 from $863 million in 2015 due, in part, to lower interest payments.

Strategy

Calpine’s goal is to continue to grow its generation presence in core markets with an emphasis on acquisitions, expansions or modernization of existing power plants. Calpine is also actively seeking divestiture opportunities of non-core assets to pay down debt.

In 2016, the company sold the assets comprising South Point Energy Center to Nevada Power Company as well as the Mankato Power Plant in Minnesota. The transactions were part of the company’s effort to divest non-core assets.

Calpine has established a retail energy portfolio to provide an additional source of liquidity for its generation fleet. In 2015, 2016, and 2017 the company acquired Champion Energy, Calpine Solutions, and North American Power to bulk up its retail operations.

The company also initiated a $2.8 billion debt reduction program to give it more room to make investments.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2017 Calpine acquired North American Power for about $105 million to add to its retail portfolio. North American Power is concentrated in the Northeast US where Calpine has a substantial power generation presence and where Champion Energy (a 2016 Calpine acquisition) has a substantial retail sales footprint. North American Power will be integrated into the Champion Energy retail platform.

In 2016 the company bought Noble Group' s North American energy business for about $800 million.

That year Calpine acquired the Granite Ridge Energy Center from Granite Ridge Holdings, LLC, a natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire, the cost of deal was $500 million. The addition of Granite Ridge strategically enhances its footprint in New England.

In 2015 Calpine acquired retail electric provider Champion Energy Marketing for $240 million plus working capital adjustments. Champion's presence in Texas and the Northeast made it the ideal retail complement to the company's wholesale generation portfolio.

Company Background

In 2013, to raise cash, Calpine sold its Riverside Energy Center (a 600 MW natural gas plant in Beloit, Wisconsin, to Wisconsin Power and Light for $400 million.

In 2012 the company acquired an 800-MW natural gas-fired, combined-cycle power plant in Central Texas from Bosque Power Co., for $432 million. That year it sold the Broad River Energy Center to Broad River Power LLC, an affiliate of Energy Capital Partners LLC, for $427 million.

In 2010 Calpine purchased 4,490 MW of power plants from Pepco Holdings for about $1.7 billion. The acquisition added Conectiv Energy's power plants (18 operating and one under construction) to Calpine's fleet, helping to strengthen its market position in the Eastern US.

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Calpine Corporation

717 Texas St Ste 1000
Houston, TX 77002-2743
Phone: 1 (713) 830-2000
Fax: 1 (713) 830-2001

Stats

  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: CPN
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • President and CEO: John B. Hill
  • President and CEO: John B. Hill
  • EVP and CFO: Zamir Rauf
  • 2016 Employees: 2,372

Major Office Locations

  • Houston, TX

Other Locations

  • Decatur, AL
  • Mohave Valley, AZ
  • Cloverdale, CA
  • Dublin, CA
  • Fairfield, CA
  • Middletown, CA
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Yuba City, CA
  • Norwalk, CT
  • Washington, DC
  • Wilmington, DE
  • Downers Grove, IL
  • Cohasset, MA
  • North Weymouth, MA
  • Westbrook, ME
  • Southfield, MI
  • Carneys Point, NJ
  • Woodbridge, NJ
  • Hermiston, OR
  • Delta, PA
  • Baytown, TX
  • Corpus Christi, TX
  • Deer Park, TX
  • Edinburg, TX
  • Fairfield, TX
  • Freeport, TX
  • Marion, TX
  • Pasadena, TX
  • Richmond, TX
  • Beloit, WI
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