Our increased productivity drove a 30% comparable reduction in our per megawatt hour operating cost for the first half of 2012 as we held the line on non-fuel plant operating expenses despite the significant increase in generation. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our plant, engineering and maintenance personnel for their vital contribution to our success. Their focus on our operational excellence yielded our best year-to-date forced outage factor and starting reliability on record, while also achieving the best year-to-date safety performance. I am very proud of these dedicated men and women and I appreciate the vital role they play for our company, our customers and our investors. Thad Hill, will cover our operational performance in more detail later.
Meanwhile, our commercial, regulatory and legal teams have been hard at work managing the volatility in our commodity markets. Optimizing our asset portfolio and defending the integrity of wholesale competitive power markets. As evidenced by their continued progress in the second quarter.
We successfully executed nearly 900 megawatts of new contracts in California and the South East, which will provide reliable capacity in energy for our customers and predictable financial results for our investors. In addition, we were able to achieve a constructive near term resolution for our Sutter Plant in California, while advancing the longer term issue of compensation for flexible capacity procurement in an increasingly intermittent renewable market. In PJM, Calpine cleared just over 4200 megawatts in the 2015, and ’16 capacity auction, at increased prices despite the attempts of two States to subsidize new capacity, exemptions to the minimum offer price rule and questionable demand response initiatives. Efforts are currently underway that should mitigate the impact of those activities in future auctions.
Finally, ERCOT began to address its eminent resource adequacy issues by raising the system wide offer cap as of August 1, while also initiating proceedings to evaluate structural market changes. In each case furthering their efforts to address forecast to declining reserve margins.