Careers at Calpine

Mission

Calpine generates, markets, and sells energy to retail and wholesale customers, with a view to providing a reliable and efficient energy supply across the US and Canada.

Business segments

Calpine organises its operations into three reportable business segments, arranged by geographic region:

  • West, comprising the Company’s operations in the west of the US, notably its California activities;
  • Texas, comprising the Company’s operations in Texas; and
  • East, comprising the Company’s operations in the northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, including its activities in Canada.

Calpine’s core operations of selling power, steam, capacity, and renewable energy credits, and providing ancillary services, are conducted across all three segments.

History

Calpine was founded in 1984 by three former executives of New York-based environmental engineering firm Gibbs and Hill: Peter Cartwright, Ann Curtis and John Rocchio. The Company received financial backing from Guy F Atkinson Company and Electrowatt Limited.

The Company initially provided engineering, management, finance, and maintenance services to the then emerging independent power production industry, developing a number of turnkey power plants for its clients. Calpine diversified its operations to include plant operation and ownership in 1989, developing a portfolio of gas-fired and geothermal power generation facilities across the US. The Company grew significantly during the 1990s and established itself as a considerable force in the domestic power sector.

Today, Calpine operates a network of more than 80 power facilities, serving a client base across the US, as well as in parts of Canada. The Company is ranked 402nd on the Fortune 500 list and trades a portion of its shares on the New York Stock Exchange. The Company has a current market capitalisation of $4.28 billion.

Business model of Calpine

Customer Segments

Calpine provides a range of power products and services to customers operating across multiple business sectors. These customers can be organised broadly into the following categories:

  • Energy Sector Customers, including utilities companies, independent electric system operators, retail power providers, power marketers, to which the Company sells energy wholesale and provides ancillary power services;
  • Retail Customers, including retail commercial, industrial and residential customers, to which the Company sells energy;
  • Industrial Customers, including industrial and agricultural companies, to which the Company provides steam for use in manufacturing processes or heating, ventilation and air conditioning operations; and
  • Government Customers, municipalities and other governmental entities, to which the Company provides energy and services.

Calpine serves a number of high-profile customers. In 2015 the Company had two customers that accounted for 10% or more of the Company’s annual revenue: PJM Settlement Inc. and PG&E.

Calpine principally serves customers in its domestic market of the US, with significant operations in California and Texas. The Company also serves customers in parts of Canada.

Value Propositions

Calpine provides value to its customers in the following ways:

  • Its industry standing and reputation, with the Company established as one of the leading energy companies in the US, having a positive track record for providing efficient and reliable services;
  • Its diverse energy portfolio, with the Company operating a range of power generating facilities, including a network of natural gas-fired, geothermal, solar, and steam turbine power plants located across the US;
  • Its use of technology, with the Company utilising state-of-the-art technology to produce more power from less fuel than coal plants and older natural-gas plants, and operating a number of highly efficient cogeneration plants;
  • Its commitment to clean energy, with the Company committed to developing and utilising clean and sustainable methods of generating and delivering power to customers; and
  • Its extensive domestic reach, with the Company serving a range of geographic regions across the US, its East segment alone serving 15 US states and parts of Canada, operating across the country’s major wholesale markets.

Channels

Calpine operates a website at www.calpine.com, through which it provides information on its activities, operating locations, and power operations. The Company does not operate an online sales channel, nor does it provide an online customer portal through which customers can manage transactions. However, the Company’s retail subsidiary Champion Energy, which has a website at www.energyservices.com, provides an online portal through which residential and commercial customers can pay bills, manage account details, and access resources. Calpine also operates a dedicated retail sales force, which directly works with retail clients.

Calpine makes much of its sales on wholesale markets across the US. The company operates a dedicated wholesale sales force, organised by geographic operating segment, the members of which deal directly with commercial and institutional clients, making sales under customer contracts. The Company also uses a hedging program to sell power into shorter term wholesale markets. Calpine’s wholesale sales force operates out of the Company’s network of offices, including in Houston, Sacramento, and Washington DC.

Calpine operates its own network of power generation and distribution facilities. This includes a network of 82 power plants – including geothermal, natural gas-fired, and solar plants – in operation or under construction across 20 states and Canada.

Customer Relationships

Calpine provides a range of services and tools to its retail customers on a self-service basis through the online portal operated by subsidiary company Champion Energy. This portal allows customers to manage their accounts, make payments, and access a range of resources without interacting directly with members of the Company’s sales and support teams.

Calpine also deals directly with retail clients through its dedicated sales force, who provide advice and guidance on the Company’s services, ultimately agreeing fixed-term energy supply contracts with residential and commercial customers. The Company employs a similar system through its wholesale units, working closely with customers to establish the details of each individual customer contracts. The Company seeks to utilise long-term customer contracts for its power and steam sales where possible, with a view to establishing long-term relationships.

Calpine provides ongoing support to its customers, operating a dedicated support team that is able to provide tailored assistance to customers either over the phone or online. The Company’s retail unit notably operates a real-time online chat service. Customers are also able to access a range of support resources online, including FAQS and guides, and can interact with the Company directly through its social media accounts, including with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube.

Key Activities

Calpine is a US-based power generation company. The Company is engaged in the ownership and operation of power generation infrastructure, principally comprising a network of natural gas-fired and geothermal power plants in North America. The Company's operates through three business segments organised by geographic region: West, including significant operations in California; Texas, which concerns the Company’s operations in Texas; and East, which covers the Company’s activities across 15 US sates and parts of Canada.

Calpine’s power generating portfolio consists of various types of power generation technologies, including natural gas-fired combustion turbines, which include combined-cycle plants, and renewable geothermal conventional steam turbines and solar operations. Calpine sells energy to energy companies across US wholesale markets and serves residential and commercial retail customers through its subsidiary Champion Energy.

Key Partners

Calpine works in collaboration with a network of partner companies and organisations I order to provide reliable and efficient services. These partners can be organised broadly into the following categories:

  • Supplier and Procurement Partners, including suppliers of raw materials, equipment, and tools that are utilised in the Company’s power generation facilities, as well as suppliers of services and technologies that are utilised more broadly across the enterprise;
  • Co-Generation and Distribution Partners, including various power companies and energy distributors that assist the Company in developing and operating its power generating facilities, and delivering energy to customers;
  • Joint Venture Partners, including a range of energy companies with which the Company jointly provides products and services to customers through mutually owned entities; and
  • Sustainability and Community Partners, including a range of non-profits and charitable organisations with which the Company collaborates on various community and social projects, with a focus on sustainability.

Calpine has entered a number of partnerships in recent years. This includes a transport agreement with Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, and an energy partnership with Southern California Edison.

Key Resources

Calpine’s key resources are its intellectual properties and technologies, its raw materials and supply chain, its power generating infrastructure, its power distribution network, its online portal, its IT and communications infrastructure, its sales channels, its partnerships, and its personnel.

Calpine owns a number of patents and trademarks that are utilised in its power generating and distribution operations. Searches of records published by the US Patent and Trademark Office identified several patent applications in which Calpine is named as applicant or assignee, including applications entitled ‘System and method for removing a contaminant from a gas stream’, and ‘Repair of industrial gas turbine nozzle diaphragm packing’.

Calpine owns a number of physical properties that are key to its operations. This notably includes its network of of 82 power plants geothermal, natural gas-fired, and solar power plants across the US.

Cost Structure

Calpine incurs costs in relation to the procurement of supplies and services, the operation and maintenance of its power generating facilities, the operation of its power distribution network, the development of its online portal and the maintenance of its IT and communications infrastructure, the purchase of energy, the implementation of advertising and marketing schemes, the management of its partnerships, and the retention of its personnel.

In 2015 Calpine recorded total operating costs in the amount of $5.64 billion. This principally included fuel and purchased energy expense totaling $3.77 billion, as well as plant operating expense totaling $1.02 billion, and selling, general and administrative costs totaling $138 million.

Revenue Streams

Calpine generates revenue through the generation, marketing, and sale of energy on the wholesale and retail markets in the US, as well as through the provision of various ancillary services.

In 2015 Calpine generated annual operating revenue of $6.47 billion, down on the $7.60 billion recorded by the Company the previous year. Of this revenue, $6.39 billion was attributed to commodity revenue, with operating revenue divided relatively evenly across the Company’s three operating segments.

Our team

Thad Hill,
President and Chief Executive Officer

info: Thad Hill (“Hill”) has served as President at Calpine since 2012, and has been the Company’s and Chief Executive Officer since 2014, taking responsibility for the overall strategic direction of the Company. He also sits on the Company’s Board of Directors. Hill first joined the Company in 2008 as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, going on to serve as Chief Operating Officer before assuming the position of President in 2012. Hill spent much of his early career at Boston Consulting Group, where he served in various roles, including spells Partner and Managing Director between 1995 and 2005. He went on to join Texas Genco LP, where he served as Executive Vice President of Strategy and Business Development until joining NRG Energy in 2007 as President of NRG Texas.

Zamir Rauf,
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

info: Zamir Rauf (“Rauf”) has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Calpine since 2008, overseeing the operations of the Company’s various financial units. He also serves as a member of the Company’s Board of Directors. Rauf has been with Calpine for a number of years, serving in a number of senior leadership roles, including spells as Interim Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, and Senior Vice President of Finance and Treasurer. Rauf is an experienced financial executive. Prior to joining Calpine, Rauf held various senior accounting and finance roles at Enron North America and Dynegy Inc, as well as positions at Comerica Bank in both credit and lending roles.

Charlie Gates,
Executive Vice President of Power Operations

info: Charlie Gates (“Gates”) has served as Executive Vice President of Power Operations at Calpine since joining the Company 2016. He also serves as a director of the Company. Gates has worked within the US energy sector since the 1980s, beginning his career in 1982 at Carolina Power and Light, serving initially as an associate engineer and moving up the company’s ranks to become General Manager of five fossil-fuel plants in 2000. He went on to serve in senior executive positions at Progress Energy after its merged with Carolina Power and Light, including a spell as Vice President of Fossil Generation. Prior to joining Calpine, Gates held senior executive roles at Duke Energy, which merged with Progress Energy.

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