SACRAMENTO — The state has paid the first installment on the $955 million it owes the managers of California’s power grid for electricity bought between Jan. 17 and July 31.
The Independent System Operator received a $404 million payment Thursday that covers power bought by the ISO for the state Department of Water Resources in February, said Stephanie McCorkle, an ISO spokeswoman.
Since January, the water department has bought electricity for the customers of three California utilities. High prices plunged Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric Co. into financial trouble.
The water department bought some of its electricity through the ISO, and billions of dollars more directly from power sellers and generators. It has not been reimbursed for most of those purchases.
“Now that cash is flowing,” power companies that sell to California have growing confidence they will be paid, McCorkle said Friday.