Southern Company has been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury investigating California’s electricity crisis. The Atlanta-based utility holding company said today that it will cooperate, but made no further comment.
Yesterday, Mirant, the Atlanta-based energy trader spinoff of Southern Company, confirmed that it had been subpoenaed in the same investigation. So have four other electricity suppliers. One of them, Oklahoma-based Williams Companies, has agreed to pay more than $400 million to the state of California to settle accusations that it helped drive up prices and overcharged customers.
Mirant, like the other companies under subpoena, has denied engaging in such practices.
Mirant became a top California energy supplier while it was still part of Southern Company through the purchase of three San Francisco Bay area power plants in 1999. At the time, California was beginning its electric utility deregulation.