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Wednesday Jun 14, 2023   
The cap for Alberta power pool prices is $1000/MWh. When this price is reached, it signals all hands on deck because the supply is desperately needed, and all available plants should be running. Over the last 12 days, Alberta has reached the cap twice. The first time was last Wednesday when an emergency alert level 3 was issued, signaling that load would need to be shed imminently. The second time was on Monday when wind dropped to less than 100 MW and demand stretched to 10.9 GW. Several other days in this time span of less than two weeks experienced high prices as well with price peaks up to $900/MWh. Figure 1 | Alberta Hourly Breakdown (June 2nd – June 12th) While high springtime demand contributed to the problems in AESO as high temperatures reached into the 80s, this was ... » read more
Tuesday Jun 13, 2023   
Texas is looking at its warmest temperatures of the spring as the central part of the state (Austin/San Antonio) is tapping triple digits starting today/tomorrow and holding the pattern through the weekend.  Both Dallas and Houston are not too far behind with the former in the low/mid 90’s while the latter matches the level mentioned along with its increasing humidity. Figure 1 | Texas Temperatures – Daily Average From a power perspective, the warmer temperatures are delivering strong demand with the later afternoon and evening ramp periods are escalating fast.  In fact, the forecast shows the peak demand tallying 82.7 GW by the 16th with the heavy load average reaching 66.0 GW.  Anchoring today as a comparison, we are looking at the peak increasing by 8.1 GW ... » read more
Monday Jun 12, 2023   
The energy space continues to present opportunities across North America as natural gas continues down the path of higher production volume and molecules being placed into storage.  On the electricity side of the equation, we have the lever known as power burns that are derived from renewables netting out the demand across the grid along with being the balancing component when max storage injections are being met in the spring/early summer. Figure 1 | Lower 48 Natural Gas Storage Level – EIA The daily conversation is around the market fundamentals while the weekly/monthly discussions detail what is on the horizon when it comes to structural changes tied to regulatory/policy decisions centered around a specific commission or at the state/federal level.  The changes apply ... » read more
Thursday Jun 8, 2023   
Our neighbors to the North have found themselves in the news more than they would probably like in recent days thanks to heat and wildfires that are causing reverberations across both Canada and the United States.  Alberta is in the middle of a warm streak with temperatures into the 80s, which prompted wildfires across the region earlier this month. As of Sunday, the state of emergency was lifted as most of the fires were under control, but the warmth remains and is heating up the AESO energy markets.  Unfortunately, on the other side of the country the wildfires situation is less controlled, as our readers along the East coast and around the Great Lakes can attest by looking out their windows.  Smoke from these Canadian wildfires is spreading over much of North America ... » read more
Wednesday Jun 7, 2023   
After a flashy commercial with speeding cars down long stretches of highway and promises of high fuel efficiency, the same warning always plays- mileage may vary. Whether driving 70 MPH on empty freeways or stuck in traffic within city limits, so many factors go into how far a car will be able to go on a tank of gas. With energy the same concept applies as an extra megawatt of solar in the middle of the day is a lot less valuable in a region with abundant solar than a megawatt in the evening ramp or in a region with only a few gigawatts of solar. For regions with fish spill requirements, the same amount water could be much more efficient at generating power if it is sent through the dam when the spill requirements are not in effect. In our most recent eCommerce Platiinum (Package) ... » read more
Tuesday Jun 6, 2023   
ERCOT has been walking a tight rope when it comes to being the leader when it comes to wind generation making its way to the grid as the last two months have been trending lower with April’s 2023 profile looking more like 2021 while the May 2023 took a life of its own and sliced down to average just over 5.5 GW during the middle of the day. Figure 1 | ERCOT 12x24 Renewable Profiles The graph above is an illustration of the 12x24 wind and solar profiles within ERCOT for the past three years.  Knowing that the capacity has not changed, in fact grown for both commodities mentioned, the last three months of wind generation is quite amazing as Mother Nature seems to know that the grid is swimming with the growing solar generation (seen in the middle pane profile).  The ... » read more
Monday Jun 5, 2023   
The West energy markets always seem to have some sort of twist and turn that creates discussion amongst the market participants.  For example, in years past the natural gas space was all about the lack of storage tied to Aliso Canyon and an aging El Paso pipeline while the Pacific Northwest dealt with its own pipeline issue around the rupture in British Columbia back in October 2018.  This past winter was one for ages as the season started off with colder temperatures across the region, which led to early residential/commercial heating demand along with power burns.  As a result, the California gas entities were under distress early and often as the power burns were not going to be the toggle to allow them to balance as the generation was needed. Figure 1 | PGAE Natural Gas ... » read more
Friday Jun 2, 2023   
Over the past two months, EnergyGPS has promoted it’s joint venture with Gary Ackerman, where the end game is provided market participants in the energy sector with a version of the ‘Burrito’ that incorporates all the usual sections Gary is notoriously known for along with a little spicy salsa of our own where we include an editorial on a topic of choice that should resonate with the audience. Figure 1 | The Burrito – EnergyGPS For those of you who do not know about the ‘Burrito’, it is 5-8 page piece of content that covers topics that make their way into the energy space but many times are outside the realm of the daily trading activity. The topics are just as important as they cover some of the root causes to how a market is being shaped by on the ... » read more
Thursday Jun 1, 2023   
The month of May has seen relatively low demand across the country, as well as wind generation that has lagged behind last spring in many power markets which has combined to expose solar resources—in the old guard of CAISO as well as more recent rival for the crown of solar king in ERCOT, all the way down to other markets where solar capacity is a much smaller portion of the overall supply stack, albeit a rapidly expanding one in PJM and MISO.  With summer right around the corner, the solar piece is even more relevant and a frequent focus of our recent written content.  Within each piece of content around the solar penetration within a specific region lies two components, the first is tied to the midday curtailment risk while the second is associated to the mentioned ... » read more
Wednesday May 31, 2023   
With Memorial Day weekend in the rearview, it’s the unofficial start of summer and the beginning of the end for spring outage season. Over the last few months, more than 35 nuclear power plants have gone offline for scheduled maintenance. Some were off for a few weeks, while others stopped contributing to the grid for more than 2 months. With temperatures and demand ramping up, the baseload nuclear power is returning to the grid with the change of seasons. Before it wraps up completely, let’s look back on the spring 2023 outage season. Figure 1 | US Nuclear Outages in Megawatts with Forecast (2019 – 2023) The shape of the spring nuclear outage season was a little different this year. The figure above shows total outages for nuclear plants across the country in ... » read more
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