Aquila ( ILA) lost out in its $230 million bid to buy a 580-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant from bankrupt Calpine.

Kansas City, Mo.-based Aquila said Kelson Energy ended up submitting the winning bid for the so-called Aries plant in Pleasant Hill, Mo.

"The bidding reached a point where it did not make economic sense for our customers. We based that decision on the cost of power supply alternatives which compete with Aries," said Keith Stamm, Aquila's senior vice president and chief operating officer. "Funds we previously set aside for the purchase of Aries will now be utilized for debt reduction and other liability management efforts."

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