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Featured Articles
Thursday Jun 23, 2016   
With the recent trend up in both the overall power demand across the country, something had to give in the way of more natural gas fired generation turning on or coal units ramping up to help balance the grid across the country. Figure 1 | Net Load - 7 Day Rolling Flat Average Looking at the regional temperature breakout, the Desert Southwest and Southern California saw record highs with former hitting the 120 degree mark early in the week while Burbank came in around 112 degrees.  In the Midwest it was hot and humid from Minneapolis down through Cleveland. » read more
Wednesday Jun 22, 2016   
PG&E has announced plans to retire both Diablo Canyon nuclear facilities when their licenses expire in November 2024 and August 2025.  The retirements will mark the end of the nuclear era in California after the early retirement of the SONGS nuclear facility in 2013.  The Diablo Canyon nuclear facility contains two reactors both capable of generating around 1,120 MW and is located near the city of San Luis Obispo in the NP 15 system. Figure 1 - Diablo Canyon  The plant has been under fire since the Fukushima nuclear disaster due to the units ... » read more
Tuesday Jun 21, 2016   
Last week the California Public Utilities Commission reserved June 20 - 23 on the calendar to hear oral arguments about the new PG&E rate design that is expected to get implemented this year. This new rate plan increases distribution access charges for any and all consumers connected to the PG&E gas distribution system. Anyone who uses the PG&E to get gas delivery to a facility will get an increase in rates This is a result of new pipeline safety and integrity plans that are getting implemented in the aftermath of the San Bruno explosion and fire that ... » read more
Monday Jun 20, 2016   
For those of you who deem yourself as veterans in the West Power markets will remember the era of the SCE limit. This was a binding constraint that was put into place by the CAISO operators to make sure there was enough power turned on within the LA Basin for what SCE deemed as reliability.  Once this constraint was put into place, the spread between SP15 and NP15 blew out as there was plenty of generation on the outside looking in. This constraint was exposed when SONGS went offline and eventually the units were retired.  But after the big push in the ... » read more
Friday Jun 17, 2016   
Here at EnergyGPS we spend a lot of time helping buyers and sellers of renewable projects analyze and parse risk. Our expertise sits at the intersection of wholesale and renewable markets. For a number of years, renewable resources operated in a parallel universe to the wholesale markets. Project developers signed long term power purchase agreements (PPA) with utilities which had compliance obligations. The traditional PPA called for the buyer to purchase unit contingent, intermittent, as-generated output at the project node. The utility would then either sell the ... » read more
Thursday Jun 16, 2016   
As we move into the back half of the month, the weather pattern the Desert Southwest is reverting back to what we saw earlier in the month when Phoenix was seeing highs in the 118-119 degree range. California is going to come in higher from a peak load perspective as Burbank will be hitting triple digits with some inland parts surrounding the LA Basin getting up around 103-105 degrees.  Northern California is looking at triple digits as well in Sacramento. Figure 1 | Western Cities Temperatures - Daily Average Actual vs. Forecast and Compared to Normal ... » read more
Wednesday Jun 15, 2016   
Since June 1st Nymex natural gas Henry Hub prices have been on a resilient upward trend as both daily cash and the prompt month contract prices have seen steady gains. The month opened at $2.09 and has since traded over $2.50 for delivery today.  However, the extraordinary increase in hub pricing has not translated across the entire country as basis spreads expanded with the hub. One of the most notable examples is the widening spread between HH and Dominion South. Figure 1| Henry Hub vs Dominion South - Daily Cash Price   Since February ... » read more
Tuesday Jun 14, 2016   
The West may be cool off for now with high temperatures in the Los Angeles Basin struggling to get to 80 degrees. That is all about to change as we move into next week, where the forecast is calling for the West daytime highs will jump 20 degrees in most cities as a round of steamy hot weather moves into the region starting this Sunday.  The hottest days are reserved for June 19-21 where downtown Burbank will top 103 degrees and Orange County will get to almost 110. Figure 1 | Temperature Highs in Western Cities Translating that to power demand, that would push ... » read more
Monday Jun 13, 2016   
As we head into the middle portion of the month, the overall power demand across the Central portion of the country will be strong as daytime high temperatures move into the low/mid 90's in certain places and this thing called humidity is in play.  From a net load (power demand minus wind), the grid looks to be going from a flat average of 339 GW to over 365 GWa by Friday. Figure 1 | Net Load - US As we mentioned in our weekly NG report (sent out on Friday), this type of demand increase coupled with the recent uptick in the natural gas price should initiate some ... » read more
Friday Jun 10, 2016   
Many of our newsletter readers come from the renewable energy industry. Even more of our readers come from the traditional wholesale electricity and natural gas space. Those in the renewable space have surely been watching this phenomenon over the last 24 months. Readers from the traditional wholesale markets need to listen up. Solar electricity is knocking on the door as the low-cost provider of new capacity. Anybody who tracks western US power markets surely understands the large role played by solar in the California RPS compliance market. When the California ... » read more
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