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Enron's California payout settlement
1 August 2003
A New York-based federal bankruptcy court has paved the way for failed Enron Corp to repay the California Energy Commission (CEC) $634,000 for production incentives the company received between January 1998 and April 2000 when, according to the court, it misrepresented its ownership of ten affiliated wind farms, ranging in size from 4.99 MW to 36.775 MW. Under the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA), Qualifying Facilities (QFs) must be independent power producers (IPP) in order to be QF certified and claim the incentive. The settlement includes the $522,000 Enron received as payment and interest of more than $111,000. Governor Gray Davis says: "This amount of money barely scratches the surface of what Californians are owed" due to the market manipulation of "energy traders, and energy companies like Enron." Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lawyers recommended that the commission further investigate 17 Enron-owned wind farms and cogeneration plants for similar discrepancies. The legal problem hinges on Enron's lost status as an IPP after it bought Portland General Electric in Oregon (Windpower Monthly, May 2003).
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