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Tuesday Jun 16, 2015   
Walking into June, the story line was all about two words, they were El Nino which was being promoted as a warm West Coast and a mild Central/Eastern part of the country.  So far this month, the West Coast being warm has held true, but the Central/Eastern portion being mild has yet to materialize with last week's peak power demand increasing in some ISO's to levels seen in July and August.  For example, Ercot's peak demand topped the 60 GW mark on the 10th and 11th.  So far the month to date peak demand average has come in roughly 1,600 MW higher than ... » read more
Monday Jun 15, 2015   
Over the past few weeks, the two topics on the forefront as we head into summer were the health of the supply stack and El Nino.  The former's rate of return would have an impact on the overall power burns all else being equal.   As you can see in Figure 1 below, the nuclear fleet looks to be positioned pretty well at this time. Figure 1 | Nuclear MW's online - Year on Year The latter will impact the demand side of the equation.  So far, month to date, the weather in the East/Producing regions has been far from El Nino like as most major cities were ... » read more
Friday Jun 12, 2015   
With warmer weather moving through most of the country this past week, I thought it would be worthwile to take a look at how the renewable landscape has impacted the net demand across the ISO's and Pacific Northwest.  The two resources we will be focusing in are wind and solar, since they are the ones with the largest increased capacity over the past 5 years. Let's start our West with California since it's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is increasing the capacity of solar as they strive to meet their goal of 33% capacity by 2020.   Figure 1 | California ... » read more
Thursday Jun 11, 2015   
With the latest heat wave moving through the West Coast, demand across the Pacific Northwest and California jumped up quite a bit as Portland saw high temperatures in the mid 90's for both Sunday and Monday while Sacramento was in the triple digits (104 degrees) in the middle of the afternoon.  This type of heat led to the load profiles in each region to shift up to mid-summer like levels. Figure 1 | California Peak Load - Forecast vs Actual As you can see in the Figure 1, the actual peak demand came in much higher than the forecast.  In fact, it was so ... » read more
Wednesday Jun 10, 2015   
Back in college, we rented a house that has its garage in the backyard.  The only way you could get to it was through the alley drive path that separated you from your neighbors behind you. Since that is where you put out the garbage once a week for pick up, it was quite often you would meet the other college kids renting around you.   After a couple of months, the weekly garbage take out routine morphed into what became known as the 'Rally in the Alley' Party every Friday night.  This was a fun event while it lasted, but like everything else it could ... » read more
Tuesday Jun 9, 2015   
With the ships heading back out to sea yesterday, the 2015 Rose Festival is in the books and the committee could not have asked for a better two and a half weeks.  If anyone has lived in the Portland long enough, the slogan 'it always rains during Rose Festival' has held true over the years.  Not this year, as the beginning part of the festival, there was nothing but blue skies and moderate temperatures.  It was only last week Monday/Tuesday did any real rain actually hit the area.  That was quickly replaced by the scorching heat we saw move into ... » read more
Monday Jun 8, 2015   
Last week's EIA number showed record high injections of 132 BCF during the week ending 5/29, putting total storage to 2,233 BCF. Stepping back, this put the previous four week injection average to 16.0 BCF/D. In comparison, during this same stretch the prior year, injections averaged 15.8 BCF/D. This 0.2 BCF/D increase in injections is a key indicator of how the current supply/demand balance compares to previous years. An increase in injections means the supply side of the equation is increasing relative to the demand side, and vice versa. Thus the 0.2BCF/D increase ... » read more
Friday Jun 5, 2015   
Portland’s Rose Festival has just started bringing in 12 ships on the Willamette River, from US Coast board, US Navy Vessels to the Royal Canadian Navy.  The local news is reporting the low river levels on the Willamette are causing some of the larger ships to anchor in the middle of the river instead of the banks of the river.  The vessels will be linked with scaffolding so visitors will have to walk across smaller ships to reach ships in the middle of the river.  How low is the Willamette?  See Figure 1 below. Figure ... » read more
Thursday Jun 4, 2015   
As we head into the first full weekend of June, I thought it would be a good time to check in on the health of the California generation stack. Let us first start by taking a look at the hydro situation.  As we have mentioned in the past, the California drought like year is in its 4th year.  For the past three years in the fall, we start out the conversation by saying with last year under our belt, this upcoming year cannot be much worse.  The issue is it has with this year coming in even lower than last year, from a snow water equivalent. Figure 1 | ... » read more
Wednesday Jun 3, 2015   
It felt a little weird putting on the waterproof rain jacket as I left the house the past couple of days.  In a normal spring, this would not be an uncommon occurrence as the early part of June usually brings some sort of rain event.  But prior to Monday and Tuesday's thunder and lightning storms, this winter and spring have both presented nothing but warm and dry conditions.  Over the past few months, we have continued to discuss how the high pressure system that not moving off the Pacific Northwest coast is bringing us nothing but above normal ... » read more
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