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Thursday Sep 21, 2023   
Throughout August and into the beginning of September, Mother Nature subjected the Lone Star State to unbearable heat. The summer of 2023 has been one of Texas’s hottest summers on record, with several cities hitting 100-degree temperatures for more than 40 days in a row.  Our recent Newsletter Special Report, “Scorching Summer” discusses the severity of the recent heat and its impact on ERCOT prices.  Every single day in August (and September so far) was hotter than the 5-year average, as illustrated by the figure below, which shows daily average temperatures in the top pane and differences from normal in the bottom pane. Figure 1 | Temperatures, August 2023  To say that these temperatures resulted in consistently high demand for electricity is somewhat ... » read more
Wednesday Sep 20, 2023   
Over the past year, Alberta has seen huge renewable growth. In the summer months, midday solar generation is now frequently surpassing 1 GW of generation. Peak demand in these months is often between 10 and 10.5 GW, which means midday solar is taking on an increasingly larger portion of the supply stack. Wind has also grown year-on-year, up as much as 0.4 GW on average in the evening hours. While this growth is important for the region’s goals for reducing carbon emissions, the variability of these energy sources comes with its own challenges. The combined hourly profile of wind and solar, shown in the third panel, demonstrates the abundance of renewable energy in the middle of the day and the troughs of renewable energy in the morning and evening. We’ve dubbed this same issue ... » read more
Tuesday Sep 19, 2023   
Food cart excursions within the Rose City (Portland) are common as there are several to choose from throughout. One favorite amongst tourists and locals is the establishment called the Asylum.  The establishment of food and beverages is named after 19th- century hospital for the mentally ill.  The pod’s design mimics such a place as it is surrounded by rock walls and circular barbed wire fence with small windows selectively placed and only one grand entrance. Figure 1 | Portland Food Cart - Asylum Since are over 15 food carts present/open at any time, one could get a bit confused when trying to pick one.  This is why they introduced a beverage cart at the entrance and built out a massive firepit set up where a group of individuals can sit around and discuss their ... » read more
Monday Sep 18, 2023   
The fallout from last winter continues to be in play when it comes to the decisions around Southern California’s natural gas landscape, specifically SoCal Gas’s storage facility known as Aliso Canyon.  If you recall, Mother Nature delivered a cold start to the winter season and the adjacent power regions were dealing with short portfolios as hydro waned and structural power demand was in play.  This led to the Pacific Northwest to actual export megawatts from the CAISO grid instead of providing energy during the crucial evening ramp block of hours.  The Desert Southwest was just short and leaning on the CAISO grid for its megawatt balancing during the same period.  At the end of the day, the storage gas volume was being consumed at a record pace. Figure 1 | ... » read more
Friday Sep 15, 2023   
If one’s comfort zone is where dreams go to die, then the dream was alive and kicking in ERCOT this summer while back east, especially NYISO, temperatures and grid conditions were quite a bit more …comfortable. For much of summer 2023, particularly July and August, a regional “heat dome” coupled with rapid recent population growth challenged ERCOT grid operators with record-breaking load and renewable market penetration. But for all the heat, load growth, and supply changes in Texas and the southwest, just as notable is where the heat didn’t show up, specifically the east, PJM, and especially NYISO. If ERCOT grid operators had been looking for a lower-stress job where they might get a little more down time and chance to catch up on reading, NYISO would have ... » read more
Thursday Sep 14, 2023   
In our latest Newsletter Renewable Monthly Report, “August 2023 – Texas Standout”, the focus was on the unique position of ERCOT this summer compared to other energy markets across the US.  In contrast to California and much of the eastern US, Texas has continued to experience intense summer heat.  There was not a single day in August or September so far that ERCOT’s composite temperature was not above the 5-year average.  The daily average hovered around 90 degrees throughout the past six weeks.  The impact on electricity demand was profound in August, just as in July.  ERCOT system load averaged 67.8 GW for the month of August, which is a full 10 GW higher than in August of 2022 and 12 GW higher than 2021.  The year-on-year ... » read more
Wednesday Sep 13, 2023   
On August 20th, the CAISO battery fleet missed the mark. If a battery had followed the same pattern as the fleet while attempting to capture real-time arbitrage, more than $3 per megawatt-hour would have been lost. The figure below is displayed every day in our CAISO Daily Battery Dashboard. The orange line in the bottom panel displays the generation-weighted arbitrage, which calculates how much real-time arbitrage a ‘typical’ battery captures when following the generation pattern of the whole fleet. Also displayed is the TB4 arbitrage, which assumes an omniscient operator of a 4-hour battery can choose the best 4 hours for charging and best 4 hours for discharging in the RTM. The top panel divides the generation-weighted arbitrage by the TB4 arbitrage to show how well the ... » read more
Tuesday Sep 12, 2023   
The heat dome that has smothered ERCOT and other South Central regions all summer extended into September.  This historic event has set record highs and consecutive days where the high temperature topped the century mark in Houston, Austin and Dallas/Forth Worth.  Power prices have no choice but to be volatile with the early morning hours sitting in the low $20’s while portions of the heavy load block settle north of $3,000 in the day-ahead and hit the cap price of $5,000 in the real-time market.  The volatility has a flexible generator of power quite giddy as the spot natural gas settles cannot get above the $2.75 mark while the power markets average quadruple digits on days. The table below is on display in the EnergyGPS ERCOT Battery Dashboard, where we detail the ... » read more
Monday Sep 11, 2023   
The heat dome that smothered the South Central all summer and the early part of September has taken a turn as the daytime highs across the Lone Star State are currently below the century mark with a forecast showing the balance of the week shifting down into the low 90’s with overnight lows in the mid 60’s.  This type of pattern resembles that of storms that brew in the middle of the ocean and turn into Hurricanes with different category levels and weather forecasters attempting to track such a path to making landfall.  Figure1 | Heat Dome to Hurricane Lee Along the way, the eye of the storm is monitored to see if the cyclone type circular motion will be downgraded to that of a tropical storm or depression.  Eventually the severe weather pattern dies down and ... » read more
Friday Sep 8, 2023   
We’re on a roller coaster ride called Washington cap-and-invest, and many may be looking to get off.  To recap the events of the year thus far, prices cleared the first auction (in February) at $48.50 per allowance. Later, in June, prices shot up to $65 to $70 per allowance in the secondary market when Ecology released a statement that only just over 1 million  APCR allowances would be available in the first Auction of 2023, split equally between Tier 1 priced at $51.90 and Tier 2 priced at $66.68.  Furthermore, Ecology announced that a maximum of 8 million APCR allowances would be available in 2023, split equally among Tiers. The market was not expecting an equal split between Tiers, rather the availability of all Tier 1 allowances prior to any from Tier 2 were ... » read more
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