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Featured Articles
Tuesday Aug 18, 2015   
We are over halfway though the summer and there has been nothing pointing towards an El Nino type of weather pattern in the Central, East and Southern part of the country as the likes of Texas have been experiencing above normal temperatures over the last two/three weeks. Figure 1 | Houston High/Low Temperatures - Actual vs Forecast The West is the only area that seems to be holding true to the pattern as temperatures continue to be warm across the Pacific Northwest and California.  For example, Portland will be looking at its 26th day (today) of daytime highs ... » read more
Monday Aug 17, 2015   
Some of the heat that was sitting across Texas over the past few weeks is making its way into California as the CAISO load forecast is calling for its peak demand to top the 45.8 GW mark today. Figure 1 | CAISO Peak Load Forecast - 7 Day outlook As you can see in Figure 1, the uptick movement is across all three load serving regions, with Pacific Gas and Electric (PGAE) increasing the most day on day.  Both Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE) are already quite high as their respective temperatures are already well above ... » read more
Friday Aug 14, 2015   
Sitting at the outdoor seating dinner table last night reminded me how beautiful the Pacific Northwest can be on a nice summer night with a cool breeze moving the air around.  Earlier in the week, there was a lot of complaining how hot and humid it was as the overnight temperatures did not go below 65 degrees.  Yes, I said 65 degrees!!!.  For all you living in Houston or other warmer parts of the country, this seems pretty cool, but for us Oregonian transplants it was hot and humid. Such weather prompted Midc' supply/demand picture to tighten up as the ... » read more
Thursday Aug 13, 2015   
Entering this summer, most of the major weather vendors were calling for a strong El Nino weather pattern that would drive above average temperatures in the West and a below average temperatures in the Central/Eastern regions of the United States. Yesterday's high temperature in Portland broke 90 degrees for the 22nd time this year, considering Portland only averages 11 90+ degree days for the entire Summer, it appears that the strong western forecast was correct. However, looking across the rest of the US we don't see the same validation of the preliminary ... » read more
Wednesday Aug 12, 2015   
Over the past couple of days, there has been a lot of news (production, weather, power burns, etc) hitting the market that has kept the forward natural gas prompt month from moving below the $2.80 mark.  One thing that can be added to the list in the short term is unplanned nuclear outages.  Over the course of 7 days, there has been nearly 5,000 MW of nuclear generation reported offline.  As you can see in Figure 1, as of last week there was a mere 71 MWs reported offline per the NRC daily report.  As of yesterday, the agency reported 4,931 MW. » read more
Tuesday Aug 11, 2015   
With Portland's daytime high in the 90's and Boise showing triple digit highs coming out of the weekend, the Pacific Northwest load profile shifted up to a point that the middle of the day hours had to resort to pulling MW from the interties down into California. Figure 1 | Paci flows - DA CAISO Auction  The last time we saw the imports drop like this, we were facing extreme heat across the entire West (early July), a refill issue at Grand Coulee and the likes of Columbia Generating Station not quite yet at full capacity.  Fast forward to yesterday, the ... » read more
Monday Aug 10, 2015   
At the end June this year the supreme court overturned an EPA air pollution policy.  The policy aimed to limit the amount of mercury and air toxins (MATS) produced by coals plants. With the regulations removed, coal production was going to be a focus to many as we entered the summer.  As a result, we planned to keep a close eye on how the coal fleet reacted to such a ruling as well along with any increased load.  Leading up to the the summer months, the Eastern part of the country was seeing higher natural gas power burns, especially ... » read more
Friday Aug 7, 2015   
This week all eyes turned to Texas as a substantial heatwave descended on the region.  In a previous newsletter we looked at the forecasts and called for this years peak ERCOT demand to occur on August 5th.  With RT demand hitting 68,459 MWs for HE 17, not only did demand set a new 2015 peak, but broke the all-time record set back in 2011. Figure 1| ERCOT Load and temperatures - Daily The record lasted precisely 24hrs as Aug 6th HE 17 load set a new peak load of 68,921 MW, eclipsing the short lived record by over 400 MWs. » read more
Thursday Aug 6, 2015   
With the Desert Southwest following in Texas's footsteps (HOT!!!) I thought it would be good to take a look at how it impacted the Pacific Northwest's supply picture on Tuesday.  Let's first take a look at how hot it really is in Arizona and Nevada. Phoenix has been staring at highs in the 110-112 degree range while Las Vegas is in the 108-109 degree range.  Such heat has prompted the middle of the day load to increase to the highest levels we have seen this summer.  Adding a little fuel to the fire, some units that have been producing MWs are ... » read more
Wednesday Aug 5, 2015   
Demand is falling across the United States this week with total power demand foretasted to fall around 50 GWs between Monday and Friday.  Texas, however, did not get the memo with temperatures in Dallas expected to average 99 degrees for the 10th with highs around 105 degrees.                                                                             ... » read more
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