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Thursday Nov 17, 2016   
If you did not know, Palo Verde (meaning 'green pole' or 'green stick') is the state tree of Arizona.  In the energy space the name itself is given to the major 500 kV transmission line that moves power from the Desert Southwest to California.  One could look at it as the green pathway held up by poles that creates green $$s for the participants the Desert Southwest.  That green turns to red if the line is derated in capacity and congestion occurs in the CAISO Day-ahead auction.  There is little time for the yellow light as the transmission path is ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 16, 2016   
Over the past 3-4 days, we have a seen some serious shifts in the weather outlook for the balance of the month.  For example, since walking out the door last Friday (Nov 11th) we have seen 42 HDDs added to the 15 day forecast compared to yesterday's morning weather run (nov 15th)  Figure 1 | Daily HDD 5 Day Period Comparison – by Region The largest deltas have been in the East and Midwest regions of the United States.  As will notice from figure one above are driver of the increased HDDs has been the 6-10 day period as a cold front ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 15, 2016   
As we mentioned last week, there has been a fall in coal output in many of the reliability areas across the country. MISO, SPP and PJM have all seen coal generation drop to levels last seen this past Q2 as the cash natural gas prices across the Midcontinent have dropped to near the $2.00 level. The turn around reverses much of the coal output that was reinserted into the stack after the big price move in June where those same Midcontinent prices jumped from $2.00 to near $3.00. As we look ahead to December, we see additional natural gas price ... » read more
Monday Nov 14, 2016   
Leading up to last Tuesday, there was a lot of anticipation on both who will be the next President of the United States of America as well as at the state level as measures/initiatives/ballot elects were on the docket.  Out West, in the State of Washington, the first ever Carbon Tax was on the voter's ballot. Initiative 732 (I732) was a direct tax on all carbon emitted instruments, including natural gas fired generation.  The charge was going to be $15/metric ton starting in July 2017 and going to $25/ton the following summer.  From there it was going ... » read more
Friday Nov 11, 2016   
On Thursday November 10th I attended an excellent meeting in San Francisco hosted by The Energy Foundation and coordinated by 3Degrees. The purpose of the meeting was to engage Bay Area C&I customers to explain the expansion of the CAISO into a regional ISO would benefit them. The presenters included Don Furman from Fix the Grid, Melissa Seymour from MISO, and Tim Belden (me) from EnergyGPS. The attendees included many of the large C&I as well as large direct access loads. With C&I customers representing an increasingly large block of buyers of renewable ... » read more
Thursday Nov 10, 2016   
Now over 24 hours since the election results are in, the country is working through what it will be like with Donald Trump as the president of the United States.  We will be watching the themes closely as we move through the next 100 days to determine the impact on the energy sector.  There as been initial discussions on the renewable landscape, coal is back in the conversation and I saw a couple of articles detailing the return of nuclear powered generation.  As we have seen over the past year now, with Donald Trump we have to expect the ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 9, 2016   
On November 1st the scheduled maintenance at Stony Point on the Algonquin natural gas pipeline concluded and the AIM expansion project was implemented resulting in a nearly 1 BCF increase in flows from the south into the system.  The cash market instantly responded with the AGT – Transco Z6 spread collapsing from average of $1.25 in October to just $0.25 through the first few days of November.  Figure 1 | AGT vs Z6 Cash Settles Oct 15th - Nov 9th 2016    In fact, AGT settled 1 cent below Z6 on the 7th.  When the AIM expansion project was ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 8, 2016   
Recently, we have seen a material move down in the spot price of natural gas versus the front month futures values.  Since the middle of October, Henry Hub cash prices have dropped 95 cents to $2.20 while the December contract has stayed relatively strong at $2.82. Lack of seasonal demand because of the ongoing warmth in the Midcontinent and a full storage complex have driven down the cash price to levels where new sources of demand can be found. The last time we saw the Gulf spot prices this low was back in the spring when the last coal to natural gas switching ... » read more
Monday Nov 7, 2016   
All eyes will be glued to the television on Tuesday evening as the votes start coming in across the country to see who the next president of the United States will be.  There is also interest at the state level as several measures and initiatives will get voted on by the people.  In the State of Washington, one initiative tied to the energy sector is 732 (I732), which is a carbon tax on emission within the state.  This includes both the coal and natural gas fired generation that sit within the border lines of the state. Figure 1 | Washington State - ... » read more
Friday Nov 4, 2016   
In this newsletter we examine whether increased coordination between the CAISO and the major Pacific Northwest hydro producer could bring benefits to both regions. Currently, there is little coordination. The majority of the hydro production in the Pacific Northwest is controlled by various publicly owned utilities (POU’s). Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) is certainly the largest and most important. The three counties who own and operate the dams of the Mid Columbia plus the likes of Seattle City Light, Tacoma, and Eugene Water and Electric Board control ... » read more
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