Williams May Be Required to Refund $11 Million for Power

A major electricity marketer in California, Williams Cos., said Monday that it may be required to refund $11 million for electricity sold in the state this year at prices deemed too high by federal regulators.

Williams of Tulsa, Okla., markets nearly 4,000 megawatts of electricity produced by three Southern California power plants owned by AES Corp. of Arlington, Va.

Williams has been ordered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to justify prices for $30 million of electricity sold in California during Stage 3 power emergencies from January to April.

FERC set a price cap for times of extreme electricity shortages during each of those four months and found that prices charged by power plant owners and marketers, including Williams, exceeded the caps by $124.6 million in all. The companies were told to justify those prices or refund them.

"Williams has filed justification for its prices with the FERC and calculated its refund liability under the methodology used by the FERC to compute refund amounts at approximately $11 million," Williams said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Williams said it continues to object to refunds in any amount.

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