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Enron in California

Enron Wind Corp (EWC) will "probably go forward" this year with the smaller of two merchant wind plants in California to test the market, says the company's Ken Karas. "We'll see how successful we are in selling power to the pool," he comments. Kenneth Lay, the chairman of EWC's parent Enron Corp, had announced the two merchant plants, to total 39 MW, as proof of its commitment to green electricity in the deregulated California market. They were the only merchant wind plants to have been announced specifically to provide green power to the deregulated electricity market. But the much vaunted deregulation in California got off to an embarrassingly choppy start. Various state-run components were not ready when expected. It became apparent that residential interest was tepid and that customers were confused. And the former monopoly-utilities could only switch customers over to other suppliers very slowly. So in late April Enron Corp made a shock announcement that it was pulling out of the residential market. It had been unclear though what Enron's pullout meant for the two wind plants.

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