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Friday Nov 5, 2021   
For the second straight day, our blog is highlighting events in the Pacific Northwest tied to hydro generation.  It is early on in the new water year that began in October and there are a lot of moving parts as the plan for the hydro system is set in place for the coming months.  One recent and significant change is the adoption of a new set of rules governing spill over the dams for eight dams in the spring months.  These rules are intended to provide extra flows of water to assist the salmon and other fish travel along the Columbia and Snake rivers.  The new spill rules constitute a major change from last year, which were set forth in the 2021 Fish Operations Plan (FOP). Figure 1 | Spill Over the Top of Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River The 2021 FOP spring spill ... » read more
Thursday Nov 4, 2021   
The Pacific Northwest has transition into the fall season rather nicely as the overcast skies have been met with periods of rain that remind of what is like to live in a part of the country that is very colorful from the moisture the jet stream provides off the Pacific Ocean.  When it comes to the electricity sector, the precipitation is only one element in the equation that is known as the hydro system.  Per the EnergyGPS Pacific Northwest Hydro Package, we cover this element in great detail and since we have just kicked off a new water year and the calendar turned to November there is plenty to discuss. Figure 1 | Pacific Northwest Hydro Dams – McNary The first action plan was tied to syncing up with a new 30-year normal Water Year (1991-2020) as we crossed through ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 3, 2021   
ERCOT real-time market prices in Monday’s trading saw a resurgence in volatility after the previous week of relative calm.  In the span of just two hours, prices across ERCOT went from double-digit handles to more than $500, the highest price in a week and second strongest print since mid-August.  In the days preceding the event, we discussed with clients in our ERCOT Daily Dashboard commentary that there would be a handful of factors that would collude to create a price surge but pointed out that one of the major drivers would be a large swing in wind generation.  This week’s wind swings are instructive as they’re typical of this time of year and sit within market participants’ memory of last February’s Deep Freeze event that obliterated ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 2, 2021   
This week the California Public Utilities Commission has a a couple of voting measures on the docket that have the chance to alter the current reliability concerns for the gas delivery in the state. On the November 4th meeting there are two separate proposals to increase the working gas capacity at the beleaguered Aliso Canyon storage cavern. The first Proposed Decision (PD) would move the current inventory limit from 34 to 68 BCF which is the level recommended by an independent study to assure enough in ground supply for Southern California based on the current pipeline import capacity. There is another Alternate Decision (AD) that would increase the inventory from 34 to 41 BCF assuming the import limits would be increased this winter. The increase in storage capacity is deemed ... » read more
Monday Nov 1, 2021   
The transition from Halloween to the month of November has so many things going for it as many of our youth stockpiled miniature candy bars for the rest of the year while the older generation partied like it was 1999 (if your costume was that of Prince) on Saturday night knowing that the official holiday was on Sunday where work on Monday is in play.  During the day, the winds picked  up to blow the once raked leaf piles over to the neighbors yard as well as dropping more from the sky.  As I walked around the neighborhood, there were a few families that raked up all the leaves into one big pile and their young kids were joyfully jumping up and down with a big smile. Figure 1 | Fall is Upon Us – October to November In the energy sector, this time of year symbolizes ... » read more
Friday Oct 29, 2021   
The Northwest Power Pool (NWPP) recently announced its Resource Adequacy (RA) program.  Our NWPP RA Top 10 Takeaways newsletter provided an overview and covered key takeaways from the program design ranging from load forecasting to hydro accounting.  In this article, we will dive deeper into a couple of the metrics embedded in determining reliability, namely Loss of Load Expectation (LOLE) and Effective Load Carrying Capability (ELCC).  The NWPP RA program has momentum and continues down its path toward implementation. The proposed footprint for the program has grown beyond the NWPP to balancing authorities in other regions. With its broader geographic footprint, the effort has a new name that better reflects its aspirations – the Western Resource Adequacy Program aka ... » read more
Thursday Oct 28, 2021   
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) took a big sigh of relief yesterday as the day-ahead auction clear posted little congestion between the two gen hubs (NP15/SP15).  Per our daily reporting, the conversation around the Los Banos nomogram constraint has been at the forefront as there have been days that drive SP15 over $20 on average across the heavy load below that of NP15.  This in turn pushes the SP15 well below that of the Midc heavy load bilateral price as well. Figure 1 | CAISO Day-Ahead Auction Breakdown – Heavy Load As you can see in the table above, the 23rd showed a spread delta of $17.20 only to dip down a bit the following two days but by Tuesday (26th) the congestion increased and the spread moved back out to $18.81.  Since that time, the ... » read more
Wednesday Oct 27, 2021   
Daily feedgas deliveries to U.S. LNG export terminals have been highly variable the past few weeks, but that should quiet down as seasonal maintenance and operational issues wind down before the winter demand season begins.  As the winter unfolds, exports are expected to be record-setting strong as the economics to ship are highly favorable for exporters.  Longer-term prospects for more growth have also been enhanced lately with a series of recent developments for terminals under construction and others under consideration.  Watchers of EGPS’ daily North America Daily LNG dashboard and Daily S&D report have noticed feedgas deliveries to U.S. LNG export terminals have been showing some wild swings the past few weeks.  Since last Tuesday alone flows have ... » read more
Tuesday Oct 26, 2021   
Each spring and fall the nuclear generation fleet all over the continent rotates out a number of units for seasonal refueling. This year in particular has been more intense than others with total outages eclipsing 22 GWa. In previous years this would have put more burden on both the coal and natural gas dispatch in order to make up for the loss of baseload power on the grid. This year happens to be very different from years past. Coal generation is not the dominant fuel in the generation stack. Retirements and added emissions costs have pushed natural gas generation ahead in the merit order. This is being reflected in the October power burns data which has seen no significant drop off from the past two years despite the doubling of the fuel costs.  Figure 1 | NRC ... » read more
Monday Oct 25, 2021   
If you like to travel and head to some remote place surrounded by water, the HGTV show Island Life is on your radar screen as each season and subsequent episodes detail what options are available within an operating budget of the buyers.  There are budget friendly options tied to condominiums for those who want low maintenance while basking in the sun and listening to the waves of the ocean or sea.  If you have a healthier budget and want to take on the challenges of maintaining some land along with the pool and building structures high above the waters, there is always a place of your liking. Figure 1 | Island Life - The Show When it comes to the energy space, specifically electricity, the grid is designed to take on all types of challenges including loop flow, unplanned ... » read more
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