Slowly, but surely, things are looking up for competitive wholesale electric generators. Today Constellation Energy announced an 83 percent increase in profits in Q4 2003. Much of this performance was driven by its wholesale electricity division, Constellation NewEnergy:
The merchant energy business, or wholesale electricity marketing, posted earnings per share of 52 cents, more than double the year-earlier profit. The unit, Constellation NewEnergy, sells electricity and services in 15 states and two Canadian provinces.
Even the 800-pound regulated gorillas who want to keep things the way they are have had better performance. Southern Company has seen its demand increase due to increased industrial production:
After mixed signals for much of last year, Southern finally felt the telltale signs of the recovery in the fourth quarter: a spurt in demand for electricity from its big industrial customers who needed power to crank up their factories and plants.
And since Southern is in the business model of “sell more power, make more profit” against which I ranted yesterday, this is good news for them.