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Featured Articles
Monday Nov 14, 2016   
Leading up to last Tuesday, there was a lot of anticipation on both who will be the next President of the United States of America as well as at the state level as measures/initiatives/ballot elects were on the docket.  Out West, in the State of Washington, the first ever Carbon Tax was on the voter's ballot. Initiative 732 (I732) was a direct tax on all carbon emitted instruments, including natural gas fired generation.  The charge was going to be $15/metric ton starting in July 2017 and going to $25/ton the following summer.  From there it was going ... » read more
Friday Nov 11, 2016   
On Thursday November 10th I attended an excellent meeting in San Francisco hosted by The Energy Foundation and coordinated by 3Degrees. The purpose of the meeting was to engage Bay Area C&I customers to explain the expansion of the CAISO into a regional ISO would benefit them. The presenters included Don Furman from Fix the Grid, Melissa Seymour from MISO, and Tim Belden (me) from EnergyGPS. The attendees included many of the large C&I as well as large direct access loads. With C&I customers representing an increasingly large block of buyers of renewable ... » read more
Thursday Nov 10, 2016   
Now over 24 hours since the election results are in, the country is working through what it will be like with Donald Trump as the president of the United States.  We will be watching the themes closely as we move through the next 100 days to determine the impact on the energy sector.  There as been initial discussions on the renewable landscape, coal is back in the conversation and I saw a couple of articles detailing the return of nuclear powered generation.  As we have seen over the past year now, with Donald Trump we have to expect the ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 9, 2016   
On November 1st the scheduled maintenance at Stony Point on the Algonquin natural gas pipeline concluded and the AIM expansion project was implemented resulting in a nearly 1 BCF increase in flows from the south into the system.  The cash market instantly responded with the AGT – Transco Z6 spread collapsing from average of $1.25 in October to just $0.25 through the first few days of November.  Figure 1 | AGT vs Z6 Cash Settles Oct 15th - Nov 9th 2016    In fact, AGT settled 1 cent below Z6 on the 7th.  When the AIM expansion project was ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 8, 2016   
Recently, we have seen a material move down in the spot price of natural gas versus the front month futures values.  Since the middle of October, Henry Hub cash prices have dropped 95 cents to $2.20 while the December contract has stayed relatively strong at $2.82. Lack of seasonal demand because of the ongoing warmth in the Midcontinent and a full storage complex have driven down the cash price to levels where new sources of demand can be found. The last time we saw the Gulf spot prices this low was back in the spring when the last coal to natural gas switching ... » read more
Monday Nov 7, 2016   
All eyes will be glued to the television on Tuesday evening as the votes start coming in across the country to see who the next president of the United States will be.  There is also interest at the state level as several measures and initiatives will get voted on by the people.  In the State of Washington, one initiative tied to the energy sector is 732 (I732), which is a carbon tax on emission within the state.  This includes both the coal and natural gas fired generation that sit within the border lines of the state. Figure 1 | Washington State - ... » read more
Friday Nov 4, 2016   
In this newsletter we examine whether increased coordination between the CAISO and the major Pacific Northwest hydro producer could bring benefits to both regions. Currently, there is little coordination. The majority of the hydro production in the Pacific Northwest is controlled by various publicly owned utilities (POU’s). Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is certainly the largest and most important. The three counties who own and operate the dams of the Mid Columbia plus the likes of Seattle City Light, Tacoma, and Eugene Water and Electric Board control ... » read more
Thursday Nov 3, 2016   
The month of October has come and gone, but its memories continue to be everlasting as the hydro system is pushing out megawatts like it has an unlimited supply of Halloween candy.  This is because the average rainfall in Portland for October is 3 inches.  By Monday night, we surpassed the 1994 record of 8.41 inches at the Portland airport as the month ended up just shy of 9.0 inches.  The 9.0 inches of rain is comparable to getting another November or December month thrown into the mix.  In fact, 28 out of the 31 days has a measurable amount of ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 2, 2016   
Since April of this year a series of maintenance outages on the Algonquin System has limited flows through Stony Point.  The derates limited flows from the Marcellus production area, increasing dependence on imports from Canada to balance the pipeline on strong demand days. The maintenance was apart of the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) expansion project.  AIM will increase capacity through the Algonquin system allowing .34 BCF of additional flows from the Marcellus reach customers in Connecticut and Mass.  The maintenance was scheduled to end ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 1, 2016   
In this newsletter we evaluate the wisdom of the California Air Resource Board’s recent proposals to modify the Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) rules to stop out-of-state carbon emissions from leaking into California via the EIM. A good newsletter title pulls themes together in a succinct, informative, and sometimes humorous way. We considered a variety of titles for this newsletter, before settling on a suite of titles, each one relevant in its own way. Penny wise and pound foolish. (1) Can’t see the forest for the trees. (2) Measure with a micrometer ... » read more
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