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Thursday Dec 10, 2015   
After experiencing the rainfall and wind gusts the past few days in the Pacific Northwest, one has to wonder if Mother Nature is ever going to take this show south as there has been plenty of hype around an El Nino winter in Northern California.  I am not a weather forecaster, but I do believe things are setting up for El Nino to kick in over the course of the next couple of weeks. Figure 1 | NOAA Precipitation Pattern Over the weekend is the first round of showers expecting to move through Northern California.  With the overnight temperatures shifting down ... » read more
Wednesday Dec 9, 2015   
A couple of things come to mind over the past two days as I drive through Portland hitting all the big puddles that take up most of the intersection.  The puddles are there because the drains are clogged with the leaves that have fallen from the trees and massive amounts of rain that is moving through the city has nowhere to go.  Back to the things on my wind, the first thing is the memories of this summer and fall when the skies were blue and there was not a cloud in the sky.  Since the spring was rather mild as well,  the days of blasting ... » read more
Tuesday Dec 8, 2015   
Over the last four years, hydro generation has drastically decreased on the West coast (California, Oregon, and Washington) averaging nearly 1500 megawatts less year on year from 2011 (producing 20gw to 14gw now).  Much of it can be attributed to the critical water conditions in California and the La Nina weather pattern blocking the precipitation from hitting the West coast.  This has affected hydro generation nationwide as for the first time in recent memory there was more wind generation than hydro generation (by 500 megawatts in November 2014).  The ... » read more
Monday Dec 7, 2015   
As it usually does in the Fall and Winter, the NFL Ticket becomes the weather channel for me as I flip through the games to see who is winning but also what the fans are wearing this time of year.  As I moved through the early games I could not help but notice most of the players on the East coast were still wearing short sleeves while some fans were not wearing any type of coat and/or head gear such as a hat and or ear warmers.  In the Midwest, it was more of the same as the Seattle Seahawks might as well been playing in Miami as the weather in Minneapolis ... » read more
Friday Dec 4, 2015   
If you stayed up last night to watch the end of the Packer-Lions football game you were not disappointed in an exciting finish regardless who you were rooting for.  With no time left on the clock (literally since there was a defensive facemask call on the last play to give the Packers one more play) and the ball on the Packers own 40 yard line, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers had only one option.  Yes, the hail mary pass.  Once the ball was snapped, Rodgers scrambled around a bit while his receivers ran straight down the field to the end zone, one he got ... » read more
Thursday Dec 3, 2015   
Prior to the holiday weekend, the wind across the West and Texas was blowing like crazy and the overall generation was hitting new peak output in some areas.  For example, up in the Pacific Northwest, BPA's system topped the 3.8 GW mark prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Figure 1 | BPA Wind and Load Profile - Hourly Since that time, the wind generation in the area barely has had a pulse with the last two days showing a little life. The good news is the forecast is calling for the next set of storms to move through the Columbia River Gorge and the wind ... » read more
Wednesday Dec 2, 2015   
As we came out of the long holiday weekend and began trading for the first day of December, Midc's heavy load took a turn to the upside as it went from trading in the mid $20's to indexing at $32.65. Such an increase pushed the SP15-Midc heavy load spread to a mere $0.56.  At this level, MW's that usually flow down into California via the AC intertie are told to stay at home.   Figure 1 | PACI Day-Ahead Flows - Hourly Part of this run up at the Midc was due to the Centralia unit going offline over Thanksgiving and not coming back by December 1st. » read more
Tuesday Dec 1, 2015   
On November 26th, 2015 Caiso posted an transmission derate notice for Palo Verde starting today HE 8 and lasting through December 11th, 2015 HE 16.   Figure 1 | CAISO Derate Posting - Palo Verde We mentioned the derate prior to the day-ahead market trading yesterday morning.  As you can see, the derated capacity was dropping by 1,800 MW starting HE 8 and lasting the rest of the day.  This was going to cause some problems on the CAISO side during the evening ramp hours as every MW is needed to help keep the implied heat rates somewhat reasonable. » read more
Monday Nov 30, 2015   
As we all get back to work after the long Thanksgiving weekend, there are a could couple of key elements that will be the focus now that December is upon us.  The first is the weather of course, where the longer term (11-15 day) is showing above normal temperatures across the country.  This led to the new prompt month contract (January 2016) to shift down $0.08 last Friday to put its close right at the level the December contract rolled off at. Figure 1 | NOAA 8-14 day Forecast If this sticks around, the front months will have no choice but to drive lower ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 25, 2015   
Approximately 50 million turkeys will be consumed this week as we approach the Thanksgiving holidays.  The average size turkey is approximately 15 pounds, and using Butterballs suggested cooking time, it would take 5 hours in the oven.  An electric oven would consume 2kwh for every hour in the oven.  So a whole turkey would take 10kwh multiplied by 50 million turkeys… that’s a lot of energy usage! (see Figure 1) Unfortunately not everyone uses an electric oven as many homes use other fuels including natural gas, propane, and wood.  ... » read more
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