News Column

Feds Punish Another Power Trader for Gaming California Energy Market

Nov. 20, 2012

Dale Kasler, The Sacramento Bee

Federal regulators have punished another electricity provider for wrongdoing in California, imposing a $2.5 million fine on a Florida company for trying to manipulate the state's power market.

Gila River Power LLC agreed to pay the fine and cough up $911,553 in "unjust profits," according to an announcement by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

FERC said its settlement agreement with Gila River marks the first time someone has admitted to violating FERC's anti-manipulation rules.

The company admitting using manipulative bids to receive a higher price on energy imported from out of state. Gila River sells power into Southern California from a a plant it owns near Phoenix.

The California Independent System Operator, which runs the state's transmission grid, said it "supports the settlement" and applauded Gila River "for taking responsibility for its actions."

The fine comes a week after FERC suspended JPMorgan Chase & Co. from trading electricity at market rates in California and other deregulated markets for six months. FERC said Morgan had submitted false information in response to the federal agency's investigation into charges that Morgan made millions in excessive profits from California's market.



Source: (c)2012 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) Distributed by MCT Information Services


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