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Tuesday Oct 24, 2023   
The Oregon fall regular season soccer season is coming to an end with the final matches being played this week.  My daughter’s team had their finale last night where they won by scoring six goals and not allowing the other team to find the back of the net.  Sitting in the stands is always a good gauge on how the weather is impacting both the game and the fans as the colder weather is starting to be felt over the 90-minute session. Figure 1 | Metal Bleaches – Temperature Gauge For the players on the field, it was not too bad last night as the temperatures were chilly but Mother Nature held off with the precipitation and wind gusts.  The players sitting on the bench were bundled in their respective soccer parkas; which are longer than your typical outerwear. The ... » read more
Monday Oct 23, 2023   
The Western market lost the San Onofre Nuclear Generating (SONGS) units more than a decade ago as defects were found in the replacement rods.  The sudden turn of events escalated the movement of the transmission grid as the goal was to try and replace the 2.2 GW of lost baseload capacity with renewable resources out of the central part of the CAISO footprint. Figure 1 | Nuclear Plants in the West This seemed logical given the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that was being implemented within the Golden State, but not that realistic given that the intermittent power such as wind and the solar profile not making up for the light load period was the reality in play.  This led to several gas plants within the LA Basin to be the marginal megawatt when the system got tight.  ... » read more
Friday Oct 20, 2023   
NYS PSC Chooses Process Over Outcome: Petition to Amend REC Contracts Denied The New York State Public Service Commission (NYS PSC) on October 12, 2023, denied a petition by the Alliance for Clean Energy New York (ACENY), representing multiple project developers, to amend the contracts and prices for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and energy prices related to 86 onshore solar and wind and four offshore wind (OSW) projects to better account for inflationary challenges.  The PSC has the obligation to balance the stated policy of NYS to decarbonize its economy and expand the growth of renewable energy development, while minimizing the impact on ratepayers and maintaining a fair and transparent contractual bidding process.   In this decision, the PSC chose to minimize impacts ... » read more
Thursday Oct 19, 2023   
The EnergyGPS Renewable Monthly Report details the solar capture ratio for key regions that have seen growth over the years, to which we pointed out how the month of September 2023 stood out within the CAISO footprint.  For example, the SP15 solar capture ratio plummeted from 86% in August down to 59% for the entire month of September.  This is significantly lower than past years as well, with September 2022’s solar capture ratio at 87% and 90% in September of 2021.  The changes to the CAISO grid that led to these changes are the subject of our latest Newsletter Special Report, “Capturing the Roller Coaster Ratio”. The figure below plots monthly CAISO solar capture ratio at NP15 and SP15 for the past three years.  Not only was the September ... » read more
Wednesday Oct 18, 2023   
If you’ve been checking our NRC Nuclear Plant Summary Dashboard in the last few weeks, you may have been scratching your head at this fall’s outages. We’re now more than halfway through the month of October and nuclear outages should be in full swing. On October 17th last year, total nuclear outages were at the second highest peak for the fall outage season and reached close to 21 GW. In 2021 this same day had close to 20 GW of nuclear outages. This year on October 17th, total US nuclear outages were less than 16 GW. That’s 4 - 5 GW of missing outages. In this blog, we’ll dig deep into the case of the missing outages. Figure 1 | Total Nuclear Plant Outages in Megawatts Year-on-Year (2018 – 2023) Factor #1 – Recent Retirements A couple ... » read more
Tuesday Oct 17, 2023   
The volatility in the wind profile in SPP is present this week as Monday delivered auction clears that left the light load in the bottom portion of the natural gas supply stack while the heavy load send a price signal that displayed the marginal megawatts at the top of the same resource stack.  This is not uncommon given the hourly profile is still dealing with an evening ramp peak while the wind output slid lower. Figure 1 | SPP Day-Ahead Auction Results Tuesday’s day-ahead results for SPP were substantially different as the light load took on the brunt of the wind increase thus driving the marginal megawatt out of the gas stack as the North dropped down into single digits while the South was barely holding on with a $10.88 settle.  The heavy load saw it’s morning ... » read more
Monday Oct 16, 2023   
Southern California always seems to have something to talk about as the film industry has Hollywood, the basketball world has the Lakers, and the college football scene has USC.   In the energy sector, the region saw its identity change roughly eight years ago and counting as the Aliso Canyon storage field came across a faulty value that basically shut the system down for a period and now is watched by every agency and governing body with arm’s reach.  At the end of August 2023, the CPUC voted to add another 27 BCF to the cavern that currently was sitting just under 41 BCF.  The vote was protested by citizens in the community as they want the facility shut down for good and that was the view of the CPUS and Governor Newsom until the 2023 winter event that drove ... » read more
Friday Oct 13, 2023   
Washington State’s Cap-and-Invest Program allows the Department of Ecology (Ecology) to provide allowances to electric utilities at no cost to help utilities manage the burden of the Program’s compliance cost.  These no cost allowances can be used by utilities for compliance, or they may be sold. First, let’s get a grasp on the sheer number of allowances that are being allocated to utilities. Table 1 shows the allocation schedule of no-cost allowances for the utilities that are scheduled to be allocated the top 95% of allowances in total from 2024 – 2026. Table 1 | Electric Utility Allocation Schedule, 2024 – 2026, Covering 95% of Allowances Utilities have an incentive to decrease emissions because surplus can be sold. We have written a number of ... » read more
Thursday Oct 12, 2023   
September and October are transitional months for SPP when it comes to renewables, where the region is just starting to leave behind the summer and its sharp v-shaped generation profile with high production during the light load (reaching close to 15 GW near midnight most days) and dropping low in the early afternoon.  This transition was part of the discussion in our latest Newsletter Renewable Monthly Report, “September 2023 – End of Summer Transitions”.  As the season changes and moves closer to winter and spring the wind profile rises and flattens as increases to midday generation outpace the light load hours.  September and October are an in-between stage where the profile still exhibits the v-shape but begins to shift higher.  This was the case ... » read more
Wednesday Oct 11, 2023   
Over the summer, the big story was the heat dome over Texas. High temperatures set records in many cities and triple digit temperatures became commonplace. We covered the heat in our most recent monthly, titled ‘End the Madness?’, as well as in our previous summer monthly reports. In the last few days, Texas temperatures have fallen below normal. The red in the forecast is now hovering over the western portion of the continent. From California to Canada, the West has been unusually warm this fall and the forecast indicates the warmth is here to stay. Figure 1 | Atmospheric G2 6-10 Day and 11-15 Day Forecast Last week the heat led to higher demand for CAISO as peak load was over 36 GW. With nuclear plants going offline for refueling and lowered hydro generation, the natural ... » read more
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