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Tuesday Jan 26, 2021   
California is seeing the coldest temperatures of the year today, which is a stark contrast to that of a week ago when the LA Basin was coming off record daytime highs from Burbank down to Orange County and inland to Palm Springs.  With the weather pattern came hurricane type winds that ripped through the hillsides, increased Southern California's output to 4.3 GWa across the heavy load for a couple of days.  The combination of the warmer weather and the big push from the renewable wind turbines put a stamp on how the winter season was shaping up through the middle part of January.  The bottom line was the heating demand levels were quite low while the power sector has been dealing with economic downturn along with the renewable solar penetration and outlier wind averages ... » read more
Monday Jan 25, 2021   
The first region to really feel the colder weather is Canada as the jet streams from the north dip down into North America.  This past weekend is no different as the period in question has been showing colder temperatures across British Columbia and Alberta for the past 10-15 days.  As a result, the power grid tightens up quickly as the hourly demand profile is hit with little wind generation, thus shifting the net loads through specific inflection points that warrant real-time prices to escalate towards the cap.   You do not have to look any further than Sunday night's evening ramp as the five minute ticks went from clearing $56 to ending HE 16 at $643.32.  Figure 1 | Alberta Real-Time Price Action This resulted in the hour ending (HE) 16 clearing $115 while the ... » read more
Friday Jan 22, 2021   
The beginning of a new year is always a great opportunity to reflect on the previous one, and renewable energy is no exception. With so many factors affected by the seasons—load, gas prices, solar irradiance, wind speed—it often requires a whole year to make observations about any given resource. EGPS examined 2020 price and generation data for a wide range of locations across the US in order to find the overall value in $/MWh of solar and wind in each location. In addition to every ISO, the Pacific Northwest[1] is also represented. The table below shows the gen-weighted real-time price and the shape value of the major renewable resource markets in the US. It’s sorted from lowest weighted LMP to highest. Figure 1 | Weighted Real-Time (RT) LMP by ... » read more
Thursday Jan 21, 2021   
The wind across the Lone Star state has taken it personally that solar started getting all the attention over the summer as the sun shined bright and the cumulative peak output jumped up to over 3.7 GW after ending the 2019 year around 1.8 GW.  The graph below illustrates just how the ERCOT cumulative wind generation has been on a tear over the past few months with the 2020 calendar year ending at 22.06 GW compared to the 19.2 GW number in 2019. Figure 1 | ERCOT Wind Generation - Monthly Breakout Looking at the 4th quarter of 2020, a couple of things stick out that are worth noting as they were discussed in our latest Platinum Package Monthly Report, titled 'Rising Star(s)'.  The first thing is how the overall monthly average, which is displayed in the bottom pane of ... » read more
Wednesday Jan 20, 2021   
The U.S. LNG market is a bit like the 2007 Major League Baseball season.  That year was the first time the league had two division champions who had finished the prior year in last place.  The U.S. LNG market is currently posting repeated record-high sendouts this winter thanks to a severe blast of cold weather driving demand market prices to recent highs.   This strength is a welcome turnaround for exporters who spent the summer dwelling in the cellars of sharply curtailed sendouts due to negative price spreads to overseas markets. Blasts of record cold weather have been bombarding European and Asian markets since the close of December.  This has radically boosted heating gas demand in those markets and to throw a little fuel on the cold mess, record power prices ... » read more
Tuesday Jan 19, 2021   
Some times the prospect of having a long holiday weekend is not as rosy as it seems. Carrying risk into a three day holiday is no fun noting that energy markets can turn on a dime with just one change in the weather modeling. It is hard to have rest and relaxation while the markets are closed in the midst of a large scale change in fundamentals. That is exactly what the natural gas community saw over the past three days. last week the theme was that the blocking in the Atlantic would set the stage for persistent above normal heating load starting during the last week of the month. The natural gas balancing would see its tightest dynamics in nearly two years as ResCom demand would shoot up to 52 BCF per day. There were signs of change in the noon runs on Friday but the larger scale ... » read more
Friday Jan 15, 2021   
ERCOT has been a poster child for wind energy in the US, with only SPP rivaling its capacity. Recently, however, more focus has turned towards increasing solar and battery installations. While wind is still unquestionably the dominant renewable resource in Texas, solar generation lines up nicely with the region’s peak load; batteries, meanwhile, are looking forward to the (in)famous ERCOT price spikes. 2020 saw moderate increases in wind capacity, but substantial increases in solar and battery capacity: Figure 1 | ERCOT Installed Capacity by Renewable Technology - 2019/2020 Actuals Figure 1 shows year-on-year installed capacity for batteries, solar, and wind in ERCOT during 2019 and 2020. The existing battery capacity in 2019 was more than doubled in 2020. Solar capacity was almost ... » read more
Thursday Jan 14, 2021   
The Lone Star State is getting a lot of attention these days as the star that we are dependent on for our ray of light each and every day is shining bright.  In the latest EnergyGPS Monthly report (Platinum Package), titled Rising Star(s), we take a look at how renewable technologies have slid into the slot of the up and coming, new resources on the electricity grid to get one step closer to what some deem as a carbon free footprint.  California was the first to approve a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) where everyone was looking at how it was going to play out early, learn from it and then implement what they think is best practices moving forward.  In ERCOT, they have not adopted such a standard, but continue to provide a higher price cap compared to the Golden State ... » read more
Wednesday Jan 13, 2021   
There have been rumblings of late that conditions are setting up for a polar vortex to emerge and make its way into lower Canadian and upper U.S. markets.  This could be the first polar vortex of the 2021 Winter Season and if all the stars align, the most drastic one since 2018.  If it does arrive, we can expect spot gas prices to increase with elevated heating demand. In markets where pipeline capacity can become constrained on heavy winter demand days, we see the gas sector’s residential/commercial consumers get into bidding matches with the power sector.  In these situations, res/comm always wins because shutting consumers’ heat off during a cold spell is not an option.  But shutting one type of power generation off can be an option, if another source of ... » read more
Tuesday Jan 12, 2021   
Coming into the winter the natural gas storage in Alberta was at record levels thanks to a banner injection season. From April through October of last year the province was able to put 240 BCF into the cavern complex taking the inventory up to 425 BCF prior to the start of this winter. Since then it has been on a record withdrawal pace despite the above normal temperatures across the continent. Thanks to an increase in pipeline export volume the Nova Gas system has drawn down 89 BCF in just a little over two months. But now average temperatures are expected to drop from 31 degrees to 2 degrees Fahrenheit.  Figure 1 | Alberta NG Storage Inventory The change in heating demand will take the Intra load up from 6 to 7 BCF per day. In years past this would not be a problem for the system ... » read more
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