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Wednesday Jul 3, 2024   
Monday was the first day of July and with a new month comes new publications of our monthly dashboards. These dashboards are updated every month on the 1st with updated data that allows for insights into trends on monthly, quarterly and yearly levels. Take a sneak peek at three of our monthly dashes below. If they peak your interest, we offer individual monthly/annual subscription access via the EnergyGPS eCommerce Platinum Package.  If you would like multiple licenses or incorporate the content into a broader North Amercia Power and Natural Gas product, email us at sales@energygps.com for more information. CAISO Monthly Battery Dashboard (sample) As we mentioned a few weeks ago in this blog, the CAISO Monthly Battery dashboard has been recently updated. One of the first ... » read more
Tuesday Jul 2, 2024   
We have talked about the robust wind generation we saw in SPP this past June, but the Lone star state was also lucky this past June, as Mother Nature gifted ERCOT an impressive amount of wind volumes. The graph below shows a year-on-year comparison of net load and its components (load and renewables) for the past three years, with 2024 in yellow, 2023 in red and 2022 in blue. Figure 1 | ERCOT Monthly Profiles, 12x24 YoY The wind output for this past June is not far from the level seen in June 2022 but the 2024’s shape was somewhat higher across the evening block of hours. Also, if we zoom in on the bottom pane, net load was lower this June 2024 mostly because of the increase in solar generation, but also it was slightly lower during the evening hours when wind megawatts were ... » read more
Monday Jul 1, 2024   
Part of what keeps our job interesting is the interconnectedness of different markets. It’s never enough to only track the story of an individual power markets. To really grasp what’s driving those prices on any given day you also need to have a handle on the larger interconnect (unless we're talking about ERCOT of course), the overlapping natural gas markets, weather forecasts, renewable forecasts… the list goes on. And for each one there will always be new nitty gritty details to uncover. It can be a lot, but the good news for you is that we track them all. A perfect example of this comes from today’s movement in CAISO’s demand and price. The line in green shows day ahead load on June 25th while blue depicts the same values for July 1st. If you thought of ... » read more
Friday Jun 28, 2024   
We have been developing a fundamental-based long-term forecast model for the last few years.  As part of the forecast, we use a Production Cost Model (PCM) to forecast a future capacity mix across the WECC.  The PCM solves for the future capacity mix by finding a least cost solution to meet future load growth given a set of generator candidates subject to policy and operational constraints (e.g., Renewable Portfolio Standards, Clean Energy Standards, emission targets, transmission constraints, build constraints, etc.).  One of things we have found through the course of developing our long-term forecasts is that the amount of capacity required to meet current policy goals greatly exceeds the amount of capacity that has been historically added to the WECC.  For example ... » read more
Thursday Jun 27, 2024   
The transition from the shoulder months into the summer season was a time of relief for everyone in CAISO showing up at SP15 with generation to sell during the heart of the midday.  Over the first five months of 2024 the market was inundated with excess supply in Southern California as the new solar capacity additions since the summer of 2023 came online and showed up in force, complicated by a strong hydro year leaving the reservoirs close to full and large surpluses of gas in storage throughout the West, driving gas prices down and incentivizing plenty of thermal generation.  The result was plenty of solar MW without an easy home and limited transmission to move it out of the region, leading to massive congestion at the SP15 hub and large negative midday prices.  ... » read more
Wednesday Jun 26, 2024   
This spring the trend for SP15 batteries was low prices and high arbitrage opportunities. The low midday prices for SP15 began with work on the intertie, stranding the abundant solar energy in SoCal, and continued even after the maintenance wrapped up. By March, SP15 buy prices were well below $0/MWh at -$30/MWh and then dropped further still to average at -$36/MWh in April. Even NP15 batteries got to join in on the fun as NP15 buy prices for batteries in April dropped to single digits and even below $0/MWh last month. June, however, has seen a reversal of that trend, especially in the last few days as both NP15 and SP15 prices have risen while congestion is greatly reduced. Figure 1 | Price Responsiveness – Battery Operations and RTM Price The figure above is featured in our CAISO ... » read more
Tuesday Jun 25, 2024   
Mother nature has gifted a healthy amount of wind volumes to the SPP grid this month as depicted in the figure below. The current year is marked in red, 2023 in orange and 2022 in green. This graph shows net load and its components for the past three years on 12 months by 24 hours basis. We can see that the wind generation has been significantly higher this month compared to the previous two years. Load has been in the range seen in the past two years and as a result, net load shifted lower this June 2024. Figure 1 SPP 12x24 Profile – Last 3 years   Mother nature did not just offer the wind in SPP, the heat has also been present in the region just like in the rest of the country. Warmer temperatures started to kick in since the middle of this month. The table below shows the ... » read more
Monday Jun 24, 2024   
It seems that everywhere you turn in the electricity industry as of late you encounter talk of load growth. AI might still be something of a buzzword, but data centers are very real with substantial MW demand. Likewise, warmer temperatures mean more demand for cooling, and all long-term forecasts show most of the US facing above average temps this summer. Load growth is real, the EIA estimates 1% annual growth in US demand through 2050, but don’t believe the hype. If you want to see how load growth is playing out in the short term at a local scale you need to dive into the data. As much as data centers and electrification are real phenomena, so are insulation and behind-the-meter solar. Where narratives get messy, numbers provide clarity. Figure 1 | ERCOT Load vs. Temperature, Jan. » read more
Friday Jun 21, 2024   
Earlier this year, I blogged about viewing the solar eclipse from my perch in upstate NY; and observed the minor miracle that it wasn’t cloudy on that day.   Located downwind of the Great Lakes cloud empire, much of this area averages over 200 days of cloud cover per year: like the Pacific Northwest.    This week, on the summer solstice, however, we’re getting a full-fledged “3-day” mini heat wave in New York, with full sun to partial haze so it got me thinking of New York’s progress with meeting its high aspirations and lofty goals for solar-market transformation.   If you were to only look at NYISO data, you wouldn’t see much progress at all.  In fact, you’d see nothing because NYISO in their generation ... » read more
Thursday Jun 20, 2024   
Heading into last weekend, hydro output in the Pacific Northwest had been on a downward slide since the first week of June, with daily average output topping out at 15.3 GW (a high for the entire 2024 water year to-date, spurred on by warming temperatures and accelerating snow melt), then pulling back to fall below 12 GW on the 15th last Saturday.  With snow levels dwindling at the low and middle elevations and the forecast full of hot and dry weather moving forward there is limited water in the system to utilize this summer when it comes to power generation.  The factors that will make a difference are tied to dam operations around refill high in the system—especially up in British Columbia—along with the share of project outflows allocated to spill as opposed to ... » read more
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