Calpine Company History Timeline


1984: provider of management services for independent energy companies

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 initial capital of US$1 million.


Accordingly, in 1989, Cartwright altered Calpine's business focus by concentrating the company's energies on the acquisition, development, ownership, operation, and maintenance of gas-fired and geothermal power generation facilities.


By 1992, the company produced approximately 297 megawatts of electricity at four plants, enabling it to collect nearly $40 million in revenue for the year.


As the company grew, more than tripling its annual revenue volume by collecting $132 million in 1995, the dynamics of the United States electric industry were about to be dramatically changed.


In response to the news from Switzerland, Cartwright prepared Calpine for its debut as a publicly traded company, completing an initial public offering of stock in September 1996.

In what would spark a national movement, the California legislature announced in 1996 that it would deregulate the state's electric industry and allow customers to choose their electricity supplier.

He had launched an ambitious plan at the beginning of 1996 to develop 6,300 megawatts of new capacity before the end of the decade, expansion that required new equipment to actualize.

In 1996, Calpine placed an order with Siemens Westinghouse for 46 gas-fired turbines.

1996: largest IPO ever for an independent energy company


Since it began operating in September 1997, more than twenty billion gallons of treated wastewater from Lake County have been recycled into the steam reservoir, increasing the long-term productivity of the resource.

Calpine achieved its growth by taking on the posture of an aggressive acquirer, resulting in $855 million of total indebtedness by the end of 1997.

1997: purchase of Montis Niger natural gas fields and pipelines in the Sacramento Valley


To help finance such expansion, the company secured a $1 billion revolving loan backed by a syndication of more than 20 banks in late 1999.

1999: purchase of Houston’s Sheridan Energy, a gas exploration and production company


The company owns interests in 44 plants with an aggregate capacity of 4,273 megawatts, but construction underway in 2000 is slated to increase Calpine's capacity to 10,208 megawatts.


2001: Established Canadian headquarters offices in Calgary, Alberta Canada.

2001: purchase of first European facility in the United Kingdom

2001: a US$17 billion four-year growth drive with about 50% financing scaled back in face of economic downturn


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.


By the time Calpine goes bankrupt in 2005, Lehman will profit roughly $100,000,000 from the short.


2008: On 1/31/08, Calpine emerges from bankruptcy.


New Calpine stock began trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “CPN.” 2009: Moved corporate headquarters from San Jose, California to Houston, Texas.


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.

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Calpine History FAQs

How Old Is Calpine?

Calpine is 39 years old.

Who Is The Founder Of Calpine?

Peter Cartwright founded Calpine.

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Calpine may also be known as or be related to CALPINE CORP, Calpine, Calpine Corp. and Calpine Corporation.