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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
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
Thursday Jun 9, 2016   
The heat started to move through the Pacific Northwest late last week and hung around through Tuesday.  The individuals without AC in their home or apartment had to find other means to remain cool at night since the overnight lows did not drop below 65 degrees. Figure 1 | Portland Temperatures - Actual vs. Forecast From a load perspective, the middle of the day started to balloon upward with Sunday/Monday have the highest peak demand. Figure 2 | BPA Load and Wind Profile - Hourly Figure 2 illustrates the increase as it shows BPA's balancing authority's load ... » read more
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016   
A sustained heatwave settled along the coasts of the US early this week driving up cooling demand and with it power burns.  June MTD Power Burns are sitting at 29.3 BCF which is up 4 BCF from last month's average but slightly below last June;s average of 29.6 BCF. Figure 1| North American Natural Gas Power Burns - By Region The current short-term forecast's indicate that the heat is moving from the coasts to the center of the country and in the process will push US load levels above the current MTD average for the next five days including the ... » read more
Tuesday Jun 7, 2016   
With the moderate winter seen across the country, the natural gas landscape started out the injection season well above normal when it came to storage.  Many of the fields were well above their minimum withdrawal levels at the end March and have continue to refill over the course of the past two months.  This type of excess supply has put downward pressure on the overall gas prices on the cash/BOM and prompt month contracts.  This has pushed the combined cycle generation fleet below that of coal in many parts of the country therefore the units were able ... » read more
Monday Jun 6, 2016   
Last week saw extensive heat in the PJM, parts of the Northeast and the entire West as Portland saw highs near triple digits both Saturday/Sunday while Phoenix was around 115 degrees in the middle part of the day. Figure 1 | Phoenix Temperatures - Actual vs. Forecast NYISO saw its actual peak load come in quite a bit higher than the forecast amount early in the week, with the biggest delta showing up in the Zone J. Figure 2 | NYISO Peak Load - Actual vs.Forecast This type of demand pushed the net load (power demand minus wind) up to the 335 GW level after ... » read more
Friday Jun 3, 2016   
Today's California load is the highest of all days and as a result, the SP15 day-ahead heavy load implied heat rate jumped up to an 11.82.  This is up roughly 1.5 heat rate points from the previous day's clear of a 10.38.  As you can see in the figure below, scheduled load was up over 1,900 MWa Figure 1 | CAISO Scheduled Load From a net thermal demand, the grid was needing over 14,000 MW as the load increased, virtual supply shifted down and imports from the Desert Southwest/Pacific Northwest shifted down.  This has prompted the natural gas fleet to ... » read more
Thursday Jun 2, 2016   
Over the last year we have been closely monitoring the coal to gas generation ratio. Weak gas prices and increased regulations has led to an unprecedented decrease in coal generation and subsequent increase in natural gas generation (relative to net demand).  As May came to a close we saw load rise over the past week and eagerly waited to see if coal generation would bounce back. Thus far we have not a significant increase in the coal to gas ratio.   Figure 1|Coal vs Natural Gas Burns Ratio (BCF Equivalent)  Diving into the individual ISOs the ... » read more
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