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Special Research Reports
  
The Alberta Power and Natural Gas market continue to make the headlines as former is seeing its supply stack change with the retirement of coal plants and increased wind capacity. The latter is tied to what is happening with the summer maintenance restrictions as well as the production growth within the province. » read more
  
Over the years, the Rockies region has been a focal point in the West. With the landscape changing across several adjoining regions, the Rockies is once going to be in the spotlight. In this report, we detail the short, mid and long term fundamental changes impacting the overall production supply in the Rockies. » read more
Featured Articles
Tuesday Dec 6, 2016   
When I was packing last Friday night for my journey to Lambeau Field for the Packers - Texans game, little did I know I would be needing all that warm gear once I landed back in Portland last night.  In fact, when we took off out of Milwaukee's Mitchell Airport is was a balmy 36 degrees with a slight wind.  When we landed in Minneapolis the temperatures climbed to 39 degrees with little snow on the ground.  As we were landing in Portland last night around 7:30, the pilot got on the phone prior to landing and stated the temperatures at the airport was 32 ... » read more
Monday Dec 5, 2016   
This is the time of year when we start to focus on winter weather and the effect on demand. While during the summer, that demand is a measure of electric cooling load, winter demand shifts to space heating particularly in the Residential-Commercial sector of the economy. This becomes the most important measure of natural gas consumption because of the direct correlation between changes in temperature and the thermostat setting for your average household furnace. This is unlike the electric load that must be served by the power grid during the summer. There are many ... » read more
Friday Dec 2, 2016   
As we roll into December, the Pacific Northwest Water Year is two month's old with the most volatile period in front of us as everyone is focused on the January - July time frame.  During the month of December, the weather is a lot colder to where the precipitation in the higher elevated areas is in the form of snowpack not rainfall.  This is quite different than the first two months, where October saw record rainfall along the Cascades.  As a result, the hydro system's run of river dams saw a huge increase in output starting with the Westside ... » read more
Thursday Dec 1, 2016   
If you lived in the Texas Panhandle or West Texas, this past weekend could have seemed a little weird as you laid on the couch full of Thanksgiving turkey.  The weirdness was felt outside as the wind was blowing to a point that ERCOT broke its existing wind generation of 14,100 MW.  Slightly after noon, gusts along the Gulf Coast, Panhandle and Western part of Texas generated 15.033 MW of wind. Since it was a holiday weekend, this accounted for more than 45% of the state's energy at the time. Figure 1 | ERCOT Wind Generation - Heavy Load Average Such an ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 30, 2016   
Over the year's all eyes have been on California when it comes to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and the Carbon Tax (CARB) implemented a couple of years ago.  We have seen the renewable penetration take its course as the CAISO grid continues to see more solar capacity be apart of the market. Figure 1 | CAISO Solar Generation - Super Peak Average This along with an increase in imports from the Pacific Northwest has triggered less thermal generation within CAISO footprint. Figure 2 | CAISO Thermal Generation - Heavy Load Weekly Average How does this ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 29, 2016   
Much of the talk around Aliso Canyon since its shut down last winter was how in the event of a demand spike will SoCal Gas Company be able to serve the needs of its load absent the withdrawal capabilities of its largest storage cavern. For years the Aliso Canyon storage basin has been there to provide reliable supply to the state of California. This is the first time in nearly forty years that this cavern is unavailable for the winter withdrawal season. During the summer, episodes of high demand were caused by electric generators meeting the cooling demand on the ... » read more
Monday Nov 28, 2016   
Over the past six weeks, the State of California has seen above normal precipitation with October being one of the wettest on record.  After taking a little pause at the beginning of November, the past week has increased the total level by 3.3 inches.  This puts the percent of average right around the 192% mark as of this past weekend. Figure 1 | CDEC Precipitation Levels - Inches As you can see in the chart above, the current year's pattern is similar to two years ago when the back half of November and all of December was quite wet only to flatten out ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 23, 2016   
Prior to this week, the longer term weather forecasts have been calling for moderate weather in the Southwest and Southern portion of California between December and March.  This gave the market participants confidence that everything was going to be ok when it came to having enough gas to balance the SoCal system sendouts. Over the past year, SoCal Gas has been dealing with the Aliso Canyon leak which has hindered their ability to inject gas.  The summer saw some heat but nothing that really stretched the system.  What we did see on the days that were ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 22, 2016   
Over the years there are two price points that come to embody the volatile price action we often see during winter demand conditions. The Algonquin Gas Transmission and the Pacific Gas and Electric Citygate have come to be known as the peaking price point for both the east and west coast but for two very different reasons. Algonquin has been constrained largely in part because of two main issues. The geology of the area is not conducive for building gas storage caverns and an unwillingness to build gas pipeline to carry Gulf or Marcellus gas volumes to Boston. » read more
Monday Nov 21, 2016   
One stat that stuck out to me last night after watching the Green Bay Packers lose for the fourth straight game and five out of last six was the fact that NFL kickers missed a record setting 12 extra-point attempts across all games yesterday.  It should be noted that the NFL moved the extra-point attempts back to the 15 year line starting last year (instead of the 2 yard line).  This changed the distance to the uprights (goal posts) from 17-19 yards to more like 32-33 yards. One of the kicks was indoors so it is safe to say, the weather did not impact the ... » read more
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