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Monday Sep 11, 2023   
The heat dome that smothered the South Central all summer and the early part of September has taken a turn as the daytime highs across the Lone Star State are currently below the century mark with a forecast showing the balance of the week shifting down into the low 90’s with overnight lows in the mid 60’s.  This type of pattern resembles that of storms that brew in the middle of the ocean and turn into Hurricanes with different category levels and weather forecasters attempting to track such a path to making landfall.  Figure1 | Heat Dome to Hurricane Lee Along the way, the eye of the storm is monitored to see if the cyclone type circular motion will be downgraded to that of a tropical storm or depression.  Eventually the severe weather pattern dies down and ... » read more
Friday Sep 8, 2023   
We’re on a roller coaster ride called Washington cap-and-invest, and many may be looking to get off.  To recap the events of the year thus far, prices cleared the first auction (in February) at $48.50 per allowance. Later, in June, prices shot up to $65 to $70 per allowance in the secondary market when Ecology released a statement that only just over 1 million  APCR allowances would be available in the first Auction of 2023, split equally between Tier 1 priced at $51.90 and Tier 2 priced at $66.68.  Furthermore, Ecology announced that a maximum of 8 million APCR allowances would be available in 2023, split equally among Tiers. The market was not expecting an equal split between Tiers, rather the availability of all Tier 1 allowances prior to any from Tier 2 were ... » read more
Thursday Sep 7, 2023   
A couple weeks ago, our blog post “Digging a Summer Hydro Hole” touched on the unique way the water year had played out this spring and summer in the Pacific Northwest.  After a sudden and abnormally large rush of water during the month of May, unregulated river flows in the Northwest during the subsequent months of June, July, and August were all at there lowest levels in the past fifteen years at least, with only 2015 having similarly dry conditions.  Hydro generation was therefore at a deficit compared to recent years, but came in much higher and more steady than the underlying river conditions would normally have warranted.  It was only thanks to aggressive releases of stored water from behind several dams high up in the system in British Columbia—most ... » read more
Wednesday Sep 6, 2023   
With the calendar page turned to September, we’ve entered the first month of fall. Although technically a few weeks remain in summer, the seasonal change was clear here in Portland over the holiday weekend with chilly weather and fake tombstones already adorning several lawns. Another sign of the seasonal change is the ramp up in nuclear outages in the first several days of the month. August ended with a little under 1.4 GW of nuclear outages, but by September 3rd, the number had jumped to 3.5 GW. While not all these outages can be attributed to the maintenance that is common for plants in the spring and fall, some plants do appear to be ramping off for a refueling cycle. In this blog, we’ll look into what we can expect for this fall’s nuclear outage season. Figure 1 | ... » read more
Tuesday Sep 5, 2023   
The NYMEX session has the prompt month down $0.15 to start the post Labor Day short-week of trading. Weather forecasts across the continent have materially cooled since Friday with most of the Midwest, Midcon, Northeast and West Coast seeing temperatures drop by the end of this week and continuing to shift lower as we tap the middle of September. The above normal departures are going to flip to below normal from Chicago over to the East Coast whille the Atlantic tropics are clear of hurricane risk at the moment but another TD has spun up in the Pacific and is likely to influence Cali in the next three days.  Figure 1 | Forecasted CDD Changes from Friday to Monday Sep 4 Since Thursday the Lower 48 production total has taken a downturn from 101.4 to 100 BCF. Almost all of the drop in ... » read more
Friday Sep 1, 2023   
For me, 2023 is the year of the chicken. I’ve never thought more about chickens in my life. We all remember the short squeeze on eggs during the beginning of 2023. Google the words “price of eggs” and you will see dozens of articles bemoaning the spike in egg prices during 2022. Then you’ll see a gaggle of articles describing why the price is crashing or has crashed. The figure below shows the average price of a dozen eggs in US cities as calculated by the St. Louis Fed. Figure 1 | St. Louis Fed Egg Price Data   Prices began to rise in August of 2020 and then accelerated in November of 2021, reaching an all-time high of $4.82 per dozen in January 2023. A portion of the increase was driven by marginal cost – the price of chicken feed increased ... » read more
Thursday Aug 31, 2023   
While PJM is currently enjoying a stretch of cool weather that has reduced system load to below 100 GW for the daily system peak and should extend into the weekend, Mother Nature appears to have more summer heat in store early next week that could cause some excitement on the grid.  The temperature forecast has been trending upwards over the past several days for the period from September 4th through the 7th, starting on Labor Day and lasting through the first half of the week.  The figure below shows how the forecast has changed, displaying a matrix of each day’s 15-day outlook for a population-weighted PJM composite temperature, expressed as cooling degree days (CDDs).  Moving across the figure from left to right shows more recent forecasts, with the latest from ... » read more
Wednesday Aug 30, 2023   
Last week the ERCOT battery fleet set a new record dispatch by providing 1.8 GW to the grid. While 1.8 GW seems meager when considering total ERCOT load in the same hour was over 83 GW, it was a big jump in dispatch for the battery fleet. The previous record set on July 31st of this year was just over 1 GW, representing a bit more than half of the new high. The figure below shows the running maximum dispatch for the ERCOT fleet, as well as the average daily dispatch which still sits below 100 MW. With most of the battery fleet participating in the ancillary service market, dispatch to the grid for the growing battery fleet has been limited. The new maximum of 1.8 GW coincided with real-time prices up to the $5000 cap and a new record high net load. For more details on the event, you can ... » read more
Tuesday Aug 29, 2023   
The Alberta market was a focus last week as Monday was percolating as one of the tightest days the grid has seen all summer as heat persisted and wind generation was expected to be near its lowest levels seen in weeks.  The forecast was calling for a strong net load number during the mid-afternoon block of hours to which the system operators were needing all hands-on deck to keep things from falling apart.  With the lack of wind, Mother Nature left little doubt that the price action within the Alberta power market was going to tap the $900 plus mark for several hours on Monday.  We detailed the market fundamentals leading us to such a conclusion in the latest EnergyGPS Alberta Market Flash, titled ‘Emergency Alert Level 3 Called in Alberta’ Figure 1 | Alberta ... » read more
Monday Aug 28, 2023   
Warmer weather is back in the fold across Southern California after a week ago saw the first tropical storm moving off the Pacific Ocean water and make landfall which resulted in plenty of precipitation, flooding and landslides throughout the region and the Desert Southwest. Figure 1 | Atmospheric G2 Temperature Forecast – CAISO The mini-heat wave looks to last through Wednesday with the likes of Burbank and other LA Basin demand centers seeing triple digits while the Desert Southwest is looking at daytime highs above the 110 degree mark once again with a high of 115 degrees tomorrow.  Once the month shifts to September, Mother Nature has the temperatures transitioning to more of a blue color setting which means cooler temperatures.  The heat brings with it some concern ... » read more
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