California officials say JPMorgan blocked crucial power-plant conversion (Sacramento Bee)

November 15, 2012 – California electricity officials accused JPMorgan Chase & Co. today of blocking a power-plant conversion project that the state says could be crucial to keeping the lights on next summer in Southern California. In a filing with federal regulators, the California Independent System Operator says the Wall Street giant is preventing power generator operator AES Corp. from making critical changes to a pair of plants in Huntington Beach. The ISO, which runs the California power grid, wants the federal agency to step in so the project can get done in time for next summer’s air conditioning season. The allegation stems from the prolonged shutdown of Southern California Edison’s San Onofre nuclear plant. The region was able to preserve reliable electricity last summer because AES pulled two Huntington Beach generating plants out of mothballs. Morgan holds a contract to market the power generated at two other Huntington Beach plants, also run by AES. Because of that contract, it holds veto power over any changes AES makes to the two plants that would undergo the conversion.

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