Reliant Energy
Overview
 
RRI Energy, Inc. based in Houston
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, was an energy company that provided electricity to wholesale customers in the United States. The company was one of the largest independent power producers in the nation with more than 14,000 megawatts of power generation capacity across the United States. These strategically located generating assets used natural gas, fuel oil and coal. RRI was headquartered in the Reliant Energy Plaza
Reliant Energy Plaza
Reliant Energy Plaza is a 518 ft tall skyscraper in Downtown Houston, Texas. It has the headquarters of Reliant Energy. The building has around of space....

 in Downtown Houston
Downtown Houston
Downtown Houston is the largest business district of Houston, Texas, United States. Downtown Houston, the city's central business district, contains the headquarters of many prominent companies. There is an extensive network of pedestrian tunnels and skywalks connecting the buildings of the district...

.
Encyclopedia
RRI Energy, Inc. based in Houston
Houston, Texas
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, was an energy company that provided electricity to wholesale customers in the United States. The company was one of the largest independent power producers in the nation with more than 14,000 megawatts of power generation capacity across the United States. These strategically located generating assets used natural gas, fuel oil and coal. RRI was headquartered in the Reliant Energy Plaza
Reliant Energy Plaza
Reliant Energy Plaza is a 518 ft tall skyscraper in Downtown Houston, Texas. It has the headquarters of Reliant Energy. The building has around of space....

 in Downtown Houston
Downtown Houston
Downtown Houston is the largest business district of Houston, Texas, United States. Downtown Houston, the city's central business district, contains the headquarters of many prominent companies. There is an extensive network of pedestrian tunnels and skywalks connecting the buildings of the district...

. On December 3, 2010, it merged with Mirant to form GenOn Energy, and the corporate names and logos of both RRI Energy and Mirant were retired.

History

In 2002, Texas deregulated the electricity market
Deregulation of the Texas Electricity Market
Electricity deregulation in Texas was the result of the coming into force of Texas Senate Bill 7 on January 1, 2002. According to the law, deregulation is to be phased in over several years....

 and Reliant then competed against other energy companies like Direct Energy
Direct Energy
Direct Energy is a North American retailer of energy and energy services. The company was founded in 1986. With over six million customer relationships in Canada and the United States, it is the largest energy and home services retailer in North America. The current President and Chief Executive...

 and TXU Energy. At this time, Reliant Energy also separated into two publicly traded companies: Reliant Resources, Inc. and CenterPoint Energy
CenterPoint Energy
CenterPoint Energy is a Fortune 500 electric and natural gas utility serving several markets in the U.S. states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. It was formerly known as Reliant Energy , NorAm Energy, Houston Industries, and HL&P...

, Inc. .

CenterPoint was created when Reliant Energy merged with an indirect subsidiary of CenterPoint Energy, Inc. As a result of the merger, Reliant Energy shareholders received one share of CenterPoint common stock in exchange for each share of RRI common stock they held before the merger. A regulated utility, CenterPoint Energy became one of the largest U.S. energy delivery companies, serving 4.7 million metered customers. In late 2002, CenterPoint distributed the stock of Reliant Resources, Inc. to CenterPoint shareholders. This spin-off created Reliant Resources with a strategy to provide competitive wholesale and retail energy service under the Reliant Energy brand. Its businesses included power generation and retail energy services in Texas newly deregulated electricity market. On the wholesale side, Reliant owned, had an interest in, or leased 37 operating power generation facilities serving five regions of the United States.

In January 2007, the Texas electricity market became fully deregulated, and Reliant began to offer an array of products, flexible service options, and pricing arrangements to a variety of customers. At this time, Reliant was the second largest mass market electricity provider in the state of Texas, with an annual revenue of $10.9 billion and more than 3,500 employees. In February 2007, Reliant Energy announced plans for Mark Jacobs, current chief financial operator, to succeed Joel Staff as chief executive officer and for Brian Landrum to become chief operating officer.

On May 1, 2009, Reliant Energy's retail electricity business was purchased by NRG Energy. The retail group retained the name Reliant Energy and the surviving wholesale business was renamed RRI Energy, Inc.

Merger to create GenOn Energy

On April 11, 2010, RRI Energy and Atlanta-based Mirant Corp. announced an agreement to merge in a $1.6 billion all-stock deal, which would create one of the largest independent power plant operators in the country. The new company, to be named GenOn Energy, would be based in Houston but led by Mirant's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Edward Muller until 2013. At that time he will retire and Mark Jacobs, the president and chief operating officer of RRI Energy, will become CEO of GenOn. The new company has a market capitalization of about $3 billion, owning or operating 47 plants in 12 states capable of generating more than 24,650 megawatts of power. The merger was completed on December 3, 2010.

California energy crisis

In March 2004, a grand jury returned a six-count indictment against Reliant Energy Services, Inc. and four of its officers—Jackie Thomas, a former vice president of Reliant's Power Trading Division; Reggie Howard, a former director of Reliant's West Power Trading Division; Lisa Flowers, a term trader for Reliant's West Power Trading Division; and Kevin Frankeny, Reliant's manager of western operations—for their alleged role in the California electricity crisis
California electricity crisis
The California electricity crisis, also known as the Western U.S. Energy Crisis of 2000 and 2001 was a situation in which California had a shortage of electricity caused by market manipulations and illegal shutdowns of pipelines by Texas energy consortiums...

. All of the defendants are residents of Texas.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and commodities manipulation and wire fraud, as well as manipulation and attempted manipulation of the price of a commodity in interstate commerce. The indictments were filed on April 8, 2004. On August 15, 2005, Reliant announced that it had reached a $445 million settlement with the states of California, Oregon and Washington, resolving civil litigation claims against the company related to the sale of electricity in the California electricity crisis
California electricity crisis
The California electricity crisis, also known as the Western U.S. Energy Crisis of 2000 and 2001 was a situation in which California had a shortage of electricity caused by market manipulations and illegal shutdowns of pipelines by Texas energy consortiums...

 of 2000 and 2001. In March 2007, Reliant agreed to pay a $22.2 million penalty in addition to a $13.8 million credit provided in a previous settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Environmental record

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst
The University of Massachusetts Amherst is a public research and land-grant university in Amherst, Massachusetts, United States and the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system...

 have identified Reliant Energy as the 36th-largest corporate producer of air pollution
Air pollution
Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere....

 in the United States, with roughly 34 million pounds of toxic chemicals released into the air every year. Major pollutants indicated by the study include sulfuric
Sulfuric acid
Sulfuric acid is a strong mineral acid with the molecular formula . Its historical name is oil of vitriol. Pure sulfuric acid is a highly corrosive, colorless, viscous liquid. The salts of sulfuric acid are called sulfates...

 and hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid
Hydrochloric acid is a solution of hydrogen chloride in water, that is a highly corrosive, strong mineral acid with many industrial uses. It is found naturally in gastric acid....

 as well as manganese
Manganese
Manganese is a chemical element, designated by the symbol Mn. It has the atomic number 25. It is found as a free element in nature , and in many minerals...

, chromium
Chromium
Chromium is a chemical element which has the symbol Cr and atomic number 24. It is the first element in Group 6. It is a steely-gray, lustrous, hard metal that takes a high polish and has a high melting point. It is also odorless, tasteless, and malleable...

, and nickel
Nickel
Nickel is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a slight golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the transition metals and is hard and ductile...

 compounds.

In December 2007, the US state of New Jersey sued Reliant Energy, claiming that emissions from a Pennsylvania coal-fired power plant hurt the state's air quality. New Jersey claims emissions of smog and acid rain components sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from Reliant's Portland Generating Station in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, drift into its territory. The lawsuit also claims that Reliant violated the federal Clean Air Act
Clean Air Act
A Clean Air Act is one of a number of pieces of legislation relating to the reduction of airborne contaminants, smog and air pollution in general. The use by governments to enforce clean air standards has contributed to an improvement in human health and longer life spans...

 by modifying and operating the plant without required pollution control equipment and construction permits.

Reliant Energy claims to have made efforts toward more environmentally safe practices through the use of renewable resources such as solar energy, wind power
Wind power
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships....

, landfill gas
Landfill gas
Landfill gas is a complex mix of different gases created by the action of microorganisms within a landfill.-Production:Landfill gas production results from chemical reactions and microbes acting upon the waste as the putrescible materials begins to break down in the landfill...

, and coal refuse.

See also

  • CenterPoint Energy
    CenterPoint Energy
    CenterPoint Energy is a Fortune 500 electric and natural gas utility serving several markets in the U.S. states of Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. It was formerly known as Reliant Energy , NorAm Energy, Houston Industries, and HL&P...

  • Deregulation of the Texas electricity market
    Deregulation of the Texas Electricity Market
    Electricity deregulation in Texas was the result of the coming into force of Texas Senate Bill 7 on January 1, 2002. According to the law, deregulation is to be phased in over several years....

  • Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)
  • California electricity crisis
    California electricity crisis
    The California electricity crisis, also known as the Western U.S. Energy Crisis of 2000 and 2001 was a situation in which California had a shortage of electricity caused by market manipulations and illegal shutdowns of pipelines by Texas energy consortiums...


External links

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