Calpine Corp. history, profile and corporate video

     Calpine Corp. is a power producer company, which develops, constructs, owns and operates a modern and flexible fleet of low-carbon, natural gas-fired and renewable geothermal power plants. The company sells wholesale power, steam, regulatory capacity, renewable energy credits and ancillary services, including utilities, independent electric system operators, industrial and agricultural companies, retail power providers, municipalities, power marketers, and others. Its portfolio is primarily comprised of two types of power generation technologies: natural gas-fired combustion turbines, which are primarily efficient combined-cycle plants, and renewable geothermal conventional steam turbines. The company generates power in a reliable and environmentally responsible manner for the customers and communities it serves. It operates through four segments: West (including geothermal), Texas, North (including Canada), and Southeast. Calpine was founded by Peter Cartwright in June 1984 and is headquartered in Houston, TX.

    Calpine History

    In response to the 1973 oil crisis and the 1979 energy crisis, much legislation was passed that made domestic energy production an attractive enterprise. In 1984, Peter Cartwright and four of his co-workers, the Guy F. Atkinson Construction Company of South San Francisco, and the Electrowatt corporation struck an investment arrangement and Calpine was born with an initial capital of US$1 million. It was essentially a Silicon Valley startup company. The name “Calpine” is derived from the company’s California location and alpine, a reference to the Zürich home base of Electrowatt. Calpine is the world’s largest provider of geothermal energy, and the largest natural gas-fueled power producer in North America.

    As of 2011, the directors of Calpine are J. Stuart Ryan, Frank Cassidy, Jack A. Fusco, Robert C. Hinckley, David C. Merritt, W. Benjamin Moreland, Robert A. Mosbacher, Jr., William E. Oberndorf, and Denise M. O’Leary.

    In 2004, the directors of Calpine Canada Energy Finance Ulc were Charles B. Clark Jr., Kenneth T. Derr, Jeffery E. Garten, Gerald Greenwald, Susan Schwab, George J. Stathakis, Susan Wang, and John O. Wilson.

    • 1984: provider of management services for independent energy companies
    • 1988: first power production
    • 1992: assets of US $21 billion
    • 1994: 141 MW capacity
    • 1996: largest IPO ever for an independent energy company
    • 1997: purchase of Montis Niger natural gas fields and pipelines in the Sacramento Valley
    • 1998: purchased 45 gas turbine power plants
    • 1999: purchased 18 gas turbine power plants
    • 1999: purchase of Houston’s Sheridan Energy, a gas exploration and production company
    • 1999: acquired PG&E’s plants at The Geysers, making Calpine the world’s largest geothermal provider
    • 2000: 3,355 MW capacity from 58 facilities
    • 2001: Established Canadian headquarters offices in Calgary, Alberta Canada.
    • 2001: purchase of first European facility in the United Kingdom
    • 2001: world’s ninth-largest electricity producer
    • 2001: stock price exceeds US$50.00 per share
    • 2001: the California electricity crisis
    • 2001: the collapse of Enron Corporation
    • 2001: a US$17 billion four-year growth drive with about 50% financing scaled back in face of economic downturn
    • 2002: 13,000 MW capacity
    • 2003: Calgary Energy Centre in Calgary, Alberta Canada goes online.
    • 2004: 22,000 MW capacity; 89 energy centers in 21 states, Canada, and the UK
    • 2004: Investment bank Lehman Brothers begins shorting Calpine, with researcher Christine Daley lacking confidence in the Calpine Chief Financial Officer, the accounting, and the high debt. This information spreads to clients of Lehman. By the time Calpine goes bankrupt in 2005, Lehman will profit roughly $100,000,000 from the short.
    • 2005: November: CEO Peter Cartwright and CFO Bob Kelly are fired.
    • 2005: December 20: Calpine files bankruptcy, US$22 billion in debt. Calpine’s aggressive leveraged expansion plan was unsupportable in the economic environment formed by the 2000-2001 California energy crisis and the collapse of Enron. The stock price dropped to less than US$0.30 per share. Delisted from NYSE.
    • 2008: On 1/31/08, Calpine emerges from bankruptcy. The previous stock was exchanged for warrants. New Calpine stock began trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “CPN.”
    • 2009: Moved corporate headquarters from San Jose, California to Houston, Texas.
    • 2010: Acquired Conectiv Energy (generation) from Pepco Holdings.”

    *Information from,, and

    **Video published on YouTube by “poweracrosstexas



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