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Monday Aug 12, 2019   
The last couple of articles sent out via the EnergyGPS Newsletter packages were tied to how the weather pattern this summer has not materialized to widespread heat across North America while certain regions tied to both weather and renewables have seen their net load move up in recent weeks as Mother Nature sprinkles sunshine on the Golden State (California) and Lone Star State (Texas).  Both situations have an impact on the overall marginal megawatt via the specific regional supply stack while gas seems to be unfazed.  The combination of the two creates a dynamic in the market where the implied heat rates widen to make sure that all of the natural gas power plants are in the money and up and running. Looking at the Gold Package weekly Newsletter Article titled, Partly Cloudy ... » read more
Friday Aug 9, 2019   
Figure 1 | If You Don't Procure Capacity You Won't Have Any To Call On   CAISO, in its  July 22, 2019 filing in the CPUC’s integrated resource planning proceeding (R.16-02-007) makes statements that are, at one level, troubling and, at another, worthy of Captain Obvious (Figure 1): "The CAISO’s analysis shows a potential gap of up to 2,000 MW beginning in summer of 2021 and increasing to 2,500 MW in 2022.  Based on its analysis and operational experience, the CAISO urges the Commission to focus immediately on developing a comprehensive plan for addressing near-term reliability needs through 2022.  This plan should prioritize procurement of existing and new resources to be online as soon as possible and, as a backstop, facilitate extending the [SWRCB] ... » read more
Thursday Aug 8, 2019   
The hottest portion of summer is currently upon us which has long been known as the dog days of summer. The phrase originated from Greek and Roman astrology with the rising of the star system Sirius or what was also known as the “dog star”. The rising of the star was associated with heat, sudden thunderstorms, fever, and lethargy. While not a difficult gamble to make, the old mythology did get the a couple parts of this right as it has been no picnic for the last few weeks. Portland has reached over the 90 degree level several days making it the perfect time to spend by the pool. The sudden thunderstorms appear to have been dead on as well. Taking a look at the Northeast, the region has been continually pummeled by flash floods. While this created dangerous conditions for ... » read more
Wednesday Aug 7, 2019   
Over the years we have detailed the growth of the renewable sector across the entire country with specifics tied to California as the state transitioned from harvesting the wind to tapping into Mother Nature's rays as their solar growth is the pioneer when compared to anyone else out there.  When you combine both the utility-scaled projects with behind the meter contraptions, you are looking at anywhere from 18 to 19.5 GW of generation when both are at their respective peak output.  That is quite impression when you think about it as harvesting nature's sunshine makes a lot of sense in so many ways.  But like anything else, the good always comes with some obstacles as the grid developed years prior was in need of a makeover as it takes special assets to help balance the ... » read more
Tuesday Aug 6, 2019   
Coming into this injection season there was on e region that stood out as having the most challenging deficit to overcome. The Rockies, because of the many years of stagnant production was not positioned to make any headway on the injection activities. It was also noted that the Pacific Northwest would also need to draw significantly more volume from the region in order to make up for the import issues on Westcoast Pipeline. But all that changes this spring when production volumes made a big recovery particularly on the Colorado Interstate system. By the last week of July the 26 BCF deficit from the first of April had turned into a 7 BCF surplus.  Figure 1 | EIA Mountain Region Storage Inventory for 2015 - 2019 Starting in early spring, CIG had shown big year on year increases ... » read more
Monday Aug 5, 2019   
Now that we have our first full week of August to look forward to, we thought it would be a good time to take a pulse on the natural gas supply/demand picture.  The latest EnergyGPS Newsletter Article published ('Summer Chill') over the weekend detailed how the weather patterns over the past few weeks have impacted the overall demand on the grid and its impact on the forward looking market when it comes to price. Other factors that also play into the weather mindset are components like production, power burns, lng and rescom come the winter season.  Looking at the production, the numbers are solid across the board as the latest week or so has seen the daily average jump up beyond 91 BCF/d.  This is quite impressive when you put it into context of where we were last year at ... » read more
Friday Aug 2, 2019   
EnergyGPS has previously discussed the record low Waha prices that plagued the West Texas this past spring, with prices reaching as low as negative $-6/MMBtu towards the end of March. As a refresher, negative prices mean that suppliers were paying buyers to take gas off their hands (a marked reversal of the usual order of business). The following figure shows the daily cash price for Waha since the beginning of the year: Figure 1 | Daily Waha Cash Price We also discussed, if gas prices are negative, then it makes sense for natural gas generators to offer negative as well. After all the gas generators are being paid to purchase the gas and thus should be willing to pay to generate electricity as well, if they’re paying less to generate than they are receiving from the grid operator. » read more
Thursday Aug 1, 2019   
The energy industry is undergoing constant change. This is largely due to advancing technology that either raises power plant efficiency or increases the ability to obtain fuel, like we saw during the gas boom after new horizontal drilling methods were introduced. However, there will always be resistance to change. With Trump’s platform of saving coal jobs and pro-nuclear stance, a wave of subsidies have hit the markets keeping aging generation alive. Many nuclear bills have already passed throughout the Northeast, but the latest to surface was a bill in Ohio. Like the many other subsidies, the legislation targets nuclear generation throughout the state, however, it also subsidizes two coal units. Figure 1 | Perry Nuclear Power Plant I find the not so subtle addition of coal plants ... » read more
Wednesday Jul 31, 2019   
If you have spent any time in Southern California, you quickly realize the jargon around the major interstates and highways is a little different than other parts of the country.  For example, if you have to ask for direction out of the rental car place to get to I-5 north bound, the person at the check-out will tall you to take a left, then a right to merge.  Once you merge stay in the left most lane until you see a sign for 'The 5'  That is when you take a quick double take in your brain as you wonder if you heard the person correctly.  Once you calibrate it back into your brain as I-5 you say thank you and drive away.  Once you get to your destination of choice, if you are staying at a hotel and need to get directions to some other local establishment, the ... » read more
Tuesday Jul 30, 2019   
We have noted in previous articles how maintenance outages can wreak havoc on a gas system and as a result cause pricing issues. Over the past three years we have been covering the saga at SoCal Gas as the point became the most volatile and opportunistic location for trading. But that now has seemed to shift. SoCal has solved many of their woes by welcoming some operational mandates from the California Public Utilities Commission. Outside of California the most exciting place to trade may be over the United States border to the North. Nova Gas has been undergoing many seasons of maintenance and system upgrades as they expand capacity on their system. This is being done in an effort to keep their energy production complex competitive with the booming volumes coming out of Permian, Bakken ... » read more
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