As the GenOn Energy asset sale spawns several power holding companies with “Kestrel” in the name, an electric utility in California has been busy finding names for a trio of peregrine falcons.

“We have a WINNER!” tweeted Mayra Tostado, a spokesperson for Pacific Gas & Electric, on May 9. Students at Edward A. Hall Middle School in Watsonville, Calif., had won a competition to name three peregrine falcons that recently hatched atop the utility’s headquarters in San Francisco in March.

The students’ choice of names, Edward, Archibald and Hallie, beat several inspired suggestions from the public such as Peg, Greg and Egg and Falcy McFalconface, in what has become something of an annual ritual. Last year, PG&E’s baby falcons were named Steph, Iggy and KD.

The utility company is not the only well-known power name to have held such a competition.

FirstEnergy Corp. received more than 140 suggestions when it appealed to employees and Twitter for monikers for eight peregrine falcon chicks that hatched at two of its coal-fired plants in Ohio in 2012 (PFR, 5/18/12).

Associating nature’s feathery predators with environmentally unfriendly coal-fired generation may seem like an odd public relations gambit, but there may be some logic to it, given that some of the fiercest opponents of wind projects claim to be bird lovers.

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering why Platinum Equity and Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners both now have generation holding companies named after a bird of prey, look no further than Credit Suisse’s marketing materials for the GenOn assets.

Perhaps there is an ornithologist in the ranks of the investment bank’s power and utilities team who decided to dub the sale process Project Kestrel.

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