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Possible PG&E bankruptcy could trouble Geysers geothermal operator

Geothermal plant at the Geysers, California/ U.S. (source: ThinkGeoEnergy, creative commons)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 16 Jan 2019

The liabilities of big power utility PG&E due to the wildfires in California last year, are creating trouble for the power companies supplying electricity to the company, including the operators of the Geysers geothermal plants.

The wildfires of California this past summer are having a trickle affect that actually might mean trouble for the geothermal power plants of the Geysers in California.

Having avoided big damage by the fire, the actual damage might be related to PG&E Corp., the giant utility in California.

The utility faces billions of dollars in wildfire liabilities, as reported by Bloomberg, which in turn has been forcing the company to prepare for potential bankruptcy filing.

The potential liabilities from the fire for PG&E result from the possibility that the company’s equipment might have ignited the deadliest of the blazes. The potential damages are estimated at as much as $30 billion.

This results in a financial crisis effecting the companies selling electricity to PG&E. The fear is that PG&E might not be able to pay for the electricity delivered. This further effects the loans given to the power generators, including the $2 billion debt financing for the Geysers geothermal operations. The Geysers geothermal plants are operated by Calpine.

Source: Bloomberg