Calpine narrows losses in 1st quarter, despite mild Texas winter

Houston-based power company Calpine Corp. reported a lost of $56 million for the first quarter of 2017, as compared to a loss of $198 million for the fourth quarter of last year.

The company managed to narrow its losses this quarter, despite a mild Texas winter and a wet year in the West, which produced above-average levels of hydroelectric power. In both cases, demand from Calpine’s natural-gas fired power plants was low, the company said in a news release.

Calpine also announced on Friday that it has cancelled the construction of 418 megawatt natural gas-fired peaking power plant in Texas. Instead of building the plant, Calpine signed a 10 year agreement with the Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, which serves an area north of Victoria, to supply it with 200 megawatts of power from Calpine’s existing Texas power plants.

The company also retired its aging Clear Lake Power Plant, also a natural-gas fired plant, which the company announced last it summer it planned to shutdown.

Calpine owns the nation’s largest fleet of gas-fired plants, including eight power plants in the Houston area.

Like other power generation companies, Calpine’s profits, particularly in Texas, have struggled from low wholesale power prices driven by ample and cheap supplies of natural gas.