Edison to resume making payments to renewable energy providers in April

March 30, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

Southern California Edison officials have announced the company will start to pay renewable energy providers it has contracts with on a "going forward" basis starting in April.

According to a press release from Edison, that means it will resume making its payments to its energy providers in April and in the months to follow.

It does not mean Edison will pay its energy providers money owed for the five-month period when the company stopped making payments.

Local geothermal company CalEnergy has a contract in which eight of its 10 plants in the Imperial Valley provide power to Edison.


Geothermal power is a type of renewable energy.

For five months Edison has failed to make payments to CalEnergy and CalEnergy officials say Edison owes $140 million for that time period.

CalEnergy filed a lawsuit in Imperial County Superior Court seeking two actions — that the court allow CalEnergy to sell its power elsewhere and force Edison to pay the money it owes.

Imperial County Superior Court Judge Donal Donnelly ruled this month that CalEnergy could suspend its contract with Edison and sell power to another utility.

On Tuesday, Edison and CalEnergy will be back in court to argue about the money owed to it by Edison.

CalEnergy has formed an agreement with El Paso Merchant Energy to sell the power to EPME, which will act as a broker and sell the power to other utilities.

CalEnergy officials were unavailable for comment this morning on whether the announcement by Edison would affect CalEnergy's agreement with EPME

In a press release, Edison officials stated they stopped paying renewable energy providers because the company was faced with billions of dollars in overcharges and renewable energy prices that have risen 500 percent since 1999.

As a result, the company press release states, Edison "had no choice" but to stop making payments.

Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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