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Friday Jun 17, 2022   
by Tim Belden In the words of Kurtis Blow: “Basketball is my favorite sport I like the way they dribble up and down the court Just like I'm the King on the microphone so is Dr. J and Moses Malone I like Slam dunks take me to the hoop My favorite play is the alley oop I like the pick-and-roll, I like the give-and-go Cause it's Basketball, uh, Mister Kurtis Blow” I have a love hate relationship with the Golden State Warriors. Let’s get the “hate” part out of the way first – their fans. Many Warriors fans are a horrible mix of Laker fans and Duke fans. Super annoying. Smug. If you grew up or live in any type of normal place, these folks make your skin crawl. But ... » read more
Thursday Jun 16, 2022   
In recent years since wind and solar generation has become a significant portion of the supply stack in certain regions of the US, the early spring or “shoulder months” has been the period when renewable curtailments have been most prevalent.  In the past, the month of May has been characterized by a distinct “leveling off” of curtailments as the weather warmed up and demand rose, after which over the course of the summer it was rare to see renewables facing oversupply issues.  In our latest Newsletter Renewable Monthly article, “May 2022 – Spring Curtailments Not Slowing”, we take a look at conditions relevant to renewable energy in different US markets, including several where curtailments are prevalent.  This spring in each ... » read more
Wednesday Jun 15, 2022   
Last year the Pacific Northwest was dealing with a heat dome that was setting record highs throughout the region while this year has seen just the opposite as we are in the middle of June and it is still quite chilly for this time of year in the early morning.  When you throw in the simple fact that the current regional water year has had the bookend atmospheric river systems move through, it could not be more opposite in nature when it comes to the overall supply/demand landscape. Figure 1 | The Pacific Northwest Bookend Weather The impact tied to the weather in the Pacific Northwest could not be any more opposite as the extreme heat tilted the Mid-C balancing act to higher prices as local utilities saw their power demand skyrocket to a point that the local transmission and ... » read more
Tuesday Jun 14, 2022   
The natural gas industry was spun on its head last week when Freeport LNG, the 1.9 BCF per day LNG liquefaction facility, suffered a fire neat the onsite storage tanks. Immediately the plant was shut down and guidance for an outage lasting at least three weeks was issued by Freeport. But there is every indication that the plant could be out longer than company guidance as the US Department of Transportation, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is now onsite looking into the cause of the explosion. The PHMSA is chartered with overseeing the safe operation of the natural gas infrastructure across the Lower 48 and they take their mission very seriously. In the aftermath of Texas Eastern and ElPaso Pipeline ruptures over the past several years it is noted that they ... » read more
Monday Jun 13, 2022   
If you are a person who needed a weekend to not leave the house and just get caught up on their sleep or binge watch their favor HBO, Netflix or Prime series; the Pacific Northwest was the place for you as the atmospheric river system placed plenty of precipitation over the region. The rainfall was so impressive at times the sloped driveway was like a running stream and the gutters were overflowing with nothing clogging it but the volume of water coming off the roof. Figure 1 | Atmospheric River System – Pacific Northwest Region In fact, reading the news headlines of the sweltering hear across the country was hard to believe with the weather conditions in the Pacific Northwest. In a recent article, titled ‘The River System – Pacific Northwest’, we detail how the ... » read more
Friday Jun 10, 2022   
Texas is heating up as temperatures across the Lone Star State are hitting triple digits with Dallas leading the way with highs projected to be at the 103 degree level later today and over the weekend.  Houston is steady with highs in the upper 90's with a dabble of 100 degrees with plenty of humidity while the West is desert-like and the South is catching the warmer jet stream provided by Mother Nature over the next week or so.  The weather is the key component to the incremental power demand we are currently seeing within the ERCOT grid while Mother Nature continues to deliver some wind and has the solar profile on the up and up which thus adding to the supply stack.  The issue in ERCOT, like other ISO structures, is the simple fact that the supply is not ... » read more
Thursday Jun 9, 2022   
The month of June is when hydro generation typically reaches its peak each water year in the Pacific Northwest, and we’ve seen flows and production continue to rise so far over the first five days of the month as we head towards this year’s zenith.  Despite its late start this water year, runoff from melt in the mountains has been proceeding quickly since mid-June.  About half of the measured Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) for the water year has now come off the mountains in the Columbia basin as well as the Cascades flowing into the Westside projects, while about one third of the SWE in the Snake River Basin is still yet to melt.  This has translated into a large uptick in river flows over the past couple of weeks with a resulting rise in hydro output.  Flat ... » read more
Wednesday Jun 8, 2022   
Mother Nature continues to deliver early heat across parts of the country starting with California and the Desert Southwest with her eye now on Texas and the Plains.  By the time she is done with the 15-day period, the Midwest, Ohio Valley, and Southeast will be active in the discussions around the power demand across the country.  As we saw in May, the power load profiles moved up substantially on well-above normal for this time of year all the while the supply stack was dealing with their outage season tied to nuclear, coal and natural gas units.  As a result, the overall power burns ended up averaging 3.4 BCF higher than that of May 2021.  Figure 1 | Mother Nature and the Heat The natural gas forward strip is taking all this in as the front of the curve moved up ... » read more
Tuesday Jun 7, 2022   
For most of the aging workforce across the country June is a great month to retire. Grandkids are getting out of school; summer weather has arrived, and it is an opportune time to travel.  In the energy space, the retirement theme is tied to the coal generation fleet as the several gigawatts have left the grid over the years; to which is causing serious issues to the overall supply of energy on extreme days when the renewable output shifts lower.  With higher gas prices now in play, there is not an optimal time for more coal plants to retire, especially this spring when peak electricity demand is right around the corner.  Figure 1 | The Retirement Plan tied to Coal Power Plants The EIA tracks the power plant retirements and additions on their website and for this month ... » read more
Monday Jun 6, 2022   
The month of June has just begun, and we are already shifting into full summer power demand load territory as Mother Nature is delivering some intense heat over the next 15-days, which starts with California, Desert Southwest and Texas regions moving their daytime highs to the upper 90’s and triple digits.  As we get into the 6-10 and 11-15 day periods, we have the Midwest and East joining the party while the Southeast is not wanting to be left out so it is going to be the last region to get connected to the rest of the country. Figure 1 | WSI Day on Day CDD Aggregation by Bin The table above displays the delta CDD aggregation by three five-day bins where the red coloration considers the daily shift of a day along with the forecast deltas that are in play.  The darkest of ... » read more
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