|To: Secret_Agent_Man who wrote (42)||12/11/2000 4:38:44 AM|
|December 11, 2000 |
California Energy Officials
Price-Cap System, in a
By REBECCA SMITH
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
California grid officials unexpectedly abandoned
their main tool for managing prices after it
proved incapable of reining in runaway energy
costs. Instead of capping bids at $250 per
megawatt hour, they will now accept electricity
at any price so long as suppliers can prove it is
justified by production costs.
The unilateral move by the California
Independent System Operator, or ISO, came at
the end of a chaotic week in which energy
prices spiraled out of control and the world's
seventh-largest economy was threatened by
blackouts. Originally meant to have a small role
in the state's deregulated market, the ISO, which
guarantees electricity reliability, has lately found
itself buying as much as one-third of the power
consumed daily. In order to do so, the ISO has
paid ever-higher prices for last-minute power
purchases. On Monday, it spent $5 million. By
Friday, the figure had climbed to $81 million.
Generators, which already had 30% of the
state's power plants down for repairs after
running them hard all summer, offered
progressively less power to a computerized
day-ahead market run by a state-sanctioned
auction. They held back thousands of
megawatts, offering the juice to the ISO only if
prices got high enough. That put the ISO in the
position of having to beg and haggle for power,
despite the fact that actual demand wasn't
"My people were making phone deals -- 10 to
15 an hour -- when I needed them running the
grid," said Terry Winter, ISO chief executive.
"We had a gun to our head."
In the end, the ISO took the rogue action of
abandoning its "hard price cap" of $250. It did
so without advance approval of its governing
board, Gov. Gray Davis or even the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission, to which the
ISO reports. Nevertheless, the four-member
commission concurred with the move, at least
temporarily, noting the "extraordinary
circumstances occurring in California." The
energy commission is expected to issue on
Wednesday an important order on what is to be
done with the California problem.
Mr. Winter said he got tired of waiting around
as politicians and bureaucrats debated a fix for
California's broken energy market, which saw
prices soar to record levels even before last
week and which has put the state's main utilities
at risk of eventual insolvency. "I wanted some
accountability for these outrageous costs," Mr.
Gov. Davis, who has come under fire from
consumer groups for the sharply rising energy
costs, immediately lambasted the ISO for what
he called an "outrageous assault" on consumers.
Gov. Davis, who favors a $100 price cap -- a
level that generators say is below their
operating costs -- threatened to "dismantle" the
ISO in retaliation.
Generators and traders, on the other hand, said
that by freeing up prices, the ISO is actually
doing what is necessary to make sure the
market works. They argue a better match of
supply and demand should eventually bring
down prices. "Price caps distort the market,"
says Kenneth Lay, chairman of Enron Corp., the
nation's largest energy trader.
Even if that is the case, relief may not come
quickly. A cold snap is increasing electrical
demand throughout much of the West, soaking
up juice that otherwise could be available to
California. What's more, the price of natural gas
-- the fuel for many power plants -- has shot up
to unprecedented highs recently. Natural-gas
prices, at $2 to $3 per million British thermal
units a year ago, are now trading on the spot
market at around $40 to $60, by far the highest
level in the country.
The ISO action, though, should give the
organization some breathing room. By
promising generators they can offer energy at
more than $250 per megawatt hour and not
have their bids rejected outright, the ISO saw
the amount of juice offered on Friday jump
from nearly zero to 3,000 megawatts, giving it
the biggest cushion it had all week. Some of the
offers came in below $250.
By Sunday, more trading had shifted back into
the day-ahead market run by a sister
organization, the California Power Exchange.
But that pushed up its average price for power
to be delivered Monday to a record $611.80 per
megawatt hour, nearly one and a half times the
prior daily high.
That price run-up may reflect the fact that the
ISO, in its emergency market, now is forcing
suppliers to provide "appropriate cost
information" to the energy commission and state
officials when they offer power at prices above
$250 per megawatt hour. The daily auction has
no such requirement. When emergencies are
declared, the ISO also is asserting the right to
fine generators who refuse to provide power.
The change in the pricing system is a risky one
because generators may be able to justify
sky-high prices because of their natural-gas
purchases. There are only a handful of
generators serving California, and some buy
their natural gas from affiliate companies,
opening the door to sweetheart deals. "There's
no arms-length relationship between the gas
and electric companies," say Harvey Morris, an
attorney at the state Public Utilities Commission
who has filed an action against El Paso Energy,
owner of a major gas pipeline serving
California, alleging that contractual
arrangements between its units have driven up
gas prices. El Paso denies that is the case.
Under traditional cost-based regulation, such
arrangements weren't allowed. Electric
generators -- utilities -- were required to show
they bought their gas at reasonable prices.
Today, they are allowed to buy gas from anyone
and at any price because the assumption was
that a competitive electricity market would
make it impossible for them to pass through
Energy experts say that the ISO's actions will
only have a positive effect if the energy
commission sets standards for permissible costs
and then audits generators and traders
Write to Rebecca Smith at
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|To: Secret_Agent_Man who wrote (45)||12/15/2000 4:17:56 PM|
|New SEC Filing for HPOW |
A SC 13D has been released by HPOW! Click
10kwizard.ragingbull.com to view this
Form SC 13D : Filing by person(s) reporting owned shares of common stock in a
public company >5ª
SEC filing alerts brought to you by Raging Bull.
This Schedule 13D is filed jointly on behalf of CDPQ, a
corporation without share capital and an agent of the Crown in right of the Province de Quebec, created by a special act of the Legislature of the Province de Quebec, and Sofinov, a legal entity duly incorporated under part 1A of the Companies ACT (Quebec) and a wholly-owned subsidiary of CDPQ, pursuant to
Rule 13d-1(f)(1) under the Exchange Act.
AGGREGATE AMOUNT BENEFICIALLY OWNED BY EACH REPORTING
6,458,335 COMMON SHARES PERCENT OF CLASS REPRESENTED BY
AMOUNT IN ROW (11)
no wonder they are in trials in France...thinbgs that make you say hmmm...
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|To: Secret_Agent_Man who wrote (47)||1/10/2001 11:36:30 PM|
|Wednesday January 10, 5:08 pm Eastern Time|
H Power Reports Second Quarter Results
H Power Meets Milestones By Shipping Beta Unit In December
And Signing Lease For 80,000 Square Foot Manufacturing
CLIFTON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 10, 2001--H Power Corp. (NASDAQ:HPOW - news), a
leading fuel cell development company, today reported financial results for the second fiscal quarter
and six months ended November 30, 2000.
H. Frank Gibbard, chief executive officer of H Power Corp., also announced that the company met
two key milestones by shipping its first beta unit to ECO Fuel Cells, LLC (ECO) in December and
by signing a lease for an 80,000 square foot manufacturing facility.
Net revenues for the quarter were $776,000, compared with $1,084,000 for the second quarter of
last year. The company reported a second quarter net loss attributable to common stockholders of
$3,532,000, or seven cents per share, versus a comparable net loss a year ago of $2,268,000, or
seven cents per share. Compared with the same period last year, second quarter revenues from
product sales rose 51 percent to $473,000, while revenues from contracts decreased to $303,000,
reflecting the company's emphasis on commercialization.
On a consecutive quarter basis, H Power's net loss attributable to common stockholders decreased
from the first quarter's net loss of $4,045,000, or 10 cents per share. Revenues for the period were
also lower compared with first quarter revenues of $1,214,000. Low- power product sales increased
slightly in the second quarter over the first quarter.
For the first six months of fiscal 2001, net revenues rose four percent to $1,990,000, up from
$1,909,000 for the first half of last year. For the period, the company reported a net loss attributable
to common stockholders of $7,577,000, or 16 cents per share, compared with a net loss of
$3,781,000, or 12 cents per share, a year ago. First half product sales rose substantially to
$1,125,000, while revenues from contracts decreased to $865,000.
In December, the company shipped its first prototype beta unit for evaluation and testing to ECO, an
association of over 300 rural electric cooperatives. H Power had previously granted ECO the right to
market its products to more than 900 cooperatives whose service territory includes 83 percent of
U.S. counties in 47 states. Additional beta units are expected to be shipped to ECO over the next
``We continue to make steady progress toward our primary goal of commercial fuel cell production
in the second half of calendar 2001,'' said Gibbard. ``Beginning shipment of the beta units before the
end of calendar 2000 was an important milestone for H Power.''
Due to enhancements made to the fuel cell system by H Power and ECO, principally increasing the
fuel cell system capacity by 50 percent to 4.5 kW, and simultaneously decreasing the system size by
25 percent, the shipment of the first beta unit was extended from October to December. This had the
effect of shifting beta unit revenue from the second quarter to the second half of fiscal 2001.
``We are continuing our aggressive cost-reduction program to reduce our fuel cell subsystem and
component costs. The initial costs for certain system components are higher than originally estimated
as is common with developmental products. We already signed an agreement with SGL Carbon that
is intended to reduce the cost of graphite plates up to 90 percent and we are currently seeking other
similar strategic supplier partnerships,'' Gibbard concluded.
H Power intends to meet its milestone of commencing commercial shipments of fuel cell systems to
ECO in the second half of calendar 2001. H Power also expects to adhere to the company's contract
with ECO for delivery of 12,300 units within 30 months following delivery of its tenth commercial
unit, which the company plans to ship in the second half of calendar 2001. H Power expects its
delivery schedule to accelerate over this 30 month period.
Gibbard also noted that H Power met another important milestone by signing a lease for an 80,000
square foot manufacturing facility in Monroe, North Carolina. H Power expects this facility to be
ready for commercial production in the second half of calendar 2001 in order to meet its delivery
obligations to ECO and other customers. This lease culminates an extended search and selection
process for the most favorable location for H Power's first manufacturing facility.
Balance Sheet Highlights
As of November 30, 2000, the company's balance sheet included cash, cash equivalents and
marketable securities of $105,391,000, compared with $110,694,000, at the end of the first quarter.
Working capital was $107,137,000, compared with $110,907,000 at August 31, 2000. Shareholders'
equity at the end of the second fiscal quarter was $107,751,000, compared with $111,353,000 at the
end of the first quarter. H Power's initial public offering (IPO) in August 2000 netted the company
$104.2 million to fund the company's plan to commercialize fuel cell production.
H Power's goal is to establish fuel cells as a major alternative energy source and to become the
leading commercial provider of fuel cells and systems. The company focuses primarily on existing
markets for stationary power products such as the rural residential market. Going forward, the
company intends to strengthen and expand strategic relationships, penetrate the markets for portable
and mobile fuel cell products and develop low-cost, state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities. In
addition, H Power plans to capitalize on its technological advantages over other fuel cell developers
and other potential alternative power sources, and develop and acquire advanced complementary
About H Power Corp.
H Power Corp. is a leading fuel cell development company and one of the first to complete a
commercial sale of a proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system. PEM fuel cells generate
electricity efficiently and cleanly from the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen.
Hydrogen is typically derived from conventional fuels such as natural gas or propane, and oxygen is
drawn from the air. H Power's fuel cells are designed to provide electricity for a wide range of
stationary, portable and mobile applications including residential cogeneration products for rural,
remote homes, and backup power units for mobile applications.
For additional information, please visit our website at www.hpower.com
Certain expectations and projections regarding the future performance of H Power discussed in this
news release are forward-looking and are made under the ``safe harbor'' provisions of the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These expectations are based on currently available
competitive, financial and economic data along with the Company's operating plans and are subject
to future events and uncertainties. Management cautions the reader that the following factors,
amongst others, may cause H Power's plans to differ or results to vary from those expected, including
the impact of competition, pricing, market demand and marketplace acceptance, and other risks set
forth from time to time in H Power's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including,
but not limited to the risks set forth in H Power's Registration Statement on Form S-1. H Power
undertakes no obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions to forward-looking
statements, which may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect
the occurrence of unanticipated events. The events highlighted herein should not be assumed to be
items that could affect the future performance of the Company.
H Power will hold a conference call discussion of second quarter results tomorrow morning, January
11, 2001 at 11 a.m. eastern time. To listen, please visit www.hpower.com. A replay of the call will
be available until 1/25/01. To listen to the replay, please visit www.hpower.com or call (800) 642 -
1687, and use the reference code No. 416602.
H Power Corp.
Second Quarter And Six Month Financial Results (unaudited)
Three Months Ended Six Months Ended
Income Statement Data: November 30, November 30,
2000 1999 2000 1999
---- ---- ---- ----
Net revenues $776,000 $1,084,000 $1,990,000 $1,909,000
operations ($4,892,000) ($2,324,000) ($9,375,000) ($3,783,000)
Net loss ($3,532,000) ($2,216,000) ($7,536,000) ($3,676,000)
shareholders ($3,532,000) ($2,268,000) ($7,577,000) ($3,781,000)
Loss per share,
diluted ($0.07) ($0.07) ($0.16) ($0.12)
diluted 53,233,000 34,020,000 47,436,000 31,668,000
Balance Sheet Data: November 30, 2000 May 31, 2000
Cash, cash equivalents and
marketable securities $105,391,000 $11,257,000
Working capital 107,137,000 13,213,000
Total assets 113,354,000 18,650,000
Long-term debt 65,000 67,000
Minority interest 0 5,000,000
preferred stock 0 15,327,000
equity (deficit) 107,751,000 (6,938,000)
H Power Corp.
Thomas Michael, 973/249-5444 x 500
The Dilenschneider Group
Ken Di Paola/Reid Gearhart, 212/922-0900
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|To: Secret_Agent_Man who wrote (48)||1/14/2001 10:49:27 PM|
|Calif. Gov. to Push Plan to Buy Power |
Jan 14 7:17pm ET
By Nigel Hunt
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California Gov. Gray Davis will
talk with California lawmakers over the next couple of
days to push a plan under which the state would buy
power for its near bankrupt utilities, his spokesman said
The proposal involves the state signing long-term
contracts with power producers which would then be
resold at cost to the California's two largest utilities,
Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric.
California is in the midst of a power crisis with a chronic
shortage of supply threatening to plunge the country's
most populous state into darkness. The supply crunch
has helped to send wholesale prices to record levels.
San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric and
Southern California Edison, which is based in the Los
Angeles' suburb of Rosemead, have run up billions of
dollars of debt this year because they have not been
allowed to pass on skyrocketing wholesale power
costs due to a rate freeze imposed under the state's
much-criticized power deregulation program.
The burden has driven them to the brink of bankruptcy.
Neither utility would comment on Sunday, saying they
needed more time to study Davis' proposal.
Last week the lights nearly went out in 2 million homes
with the two utilities credit problems contributing to a
desperate shortage of electricity.
Blackout were averted only when a solvent state
agency -- the California Department of Water
Resources -- stepped in to buy power on behalf of the
Davis wants the state legislature to approve setting up
a fund to buy and sell electricity for the utilities. His
spokesman, Steve Maviglio, noted that the CDWR did
not have sufficient money to finance deals indefinitely.
"There is not an unlimited till (at the CDWR)," he said.
Southern California Edison is a unit of Edison
International while Pacific Gas and Electric is a
subsidiary of PG&E Corp. . They serve a total of about
24 million of the state's 34 million residents.
A leading consumer group reacted with caution to the
plan, demanding that any deal should include provisions
preventing the utilities from collecting previously
A statement issued by the Foundation for Taxpayer and
Consumer Right said the deal could force California
ratepayers to spend an extra $10 billion to bail out the
two utilities from the effects of deregulation.
FTCR wanted the state legislature to ensure the two
utilities cannot collect excess charges from customers
to help pay down the billions of dollars of debt they
have already incurred, limiting any recovery to future
Clinton administration officials on Saturday ended a
marathon negotiating session saying it was up to
California lawmakers and the governor to finalize a plan
by Tuesday to stave off bankruptcy for the utilities.
Gene Sperling, director of the president's National
Economic Council, made it clear that the ball was now in
the court of Gov. Davis and state lawmakers. They
must hammer out a solution to the state's chronic
power woes over the next two days before Wall Street
reopens on Tuesday.
"The governor laid out a framework for him and the
legislative leadership to work on," Sperling told
reporters after a meeting with state officials and
industry executives. "The issue is now for them to work
out the proposal."
Tuesday is considered crucial because that is when Wall
Street traders and analysts return to work after a
three-day U.S. holiday weekend. Financial markets have
been anxiously watching the negotiations to evaluate
the bankruptcy threat to PG&E and Edison.
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