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Wednesday Oct 26, 2022   
October 1st is the date that shifts the mindset in the power sector from that of the summer months (Q3) to that of the fall (Q4) where the start to winter is right around the corner.  The date also has importance when it comes to the hydro systems across the West as it is the time of year that things get reset and a new Water Year begins for the Pacific Northwest, California, and the Desert Southwest/Rockies.  Now we know the rivers never stop flowing, but it does give the federal agencies running the systems to take inventory of their storage levels, revamp any non-energy requirements (like fish constraints) and gather as much information as possible to what Mother Nature might have in store with the current longer-term weather forecast.  Part of October is spent on making ... » read more
Tuesday Oct 25, 2022   
Sailing into the wind is an expression used on the high sea by experience captains navigating the waters at sea.  It often is referred to in the sailing circles as a boat's ability to move forward even if it is headed into the wind.  Since it is nearly impossible to sail directly into the wind, the boat operators must angle their sail in a slightly forward direction than the sail force. It is then and only then that the boat moves forward as the keel of the boat acts to the water in a similar fashion as the sail acts to the wind.  Translating it to nautical/physics terms, the sail is balanced by the force of the keel and keeps boat moving in the right direction.  When it comes to the energy sector, the SPP system operators is the captain of the balancing ship known as ... » read more
Monday Oct 24, 2022   
The weekend was filled with sunshine and warmer weather across most of the country, which is hard to believe since it was the start of the final week of October.  If you have been following the dialogue in the EnergyGPS SPP and ERCOT Daily reports, which are a part of the regional packages we offer to individuals like yourself, we have been detailing how the warmth was going to be combined with some massive wind generation in both balancing entities.  Most of the month has delivered modest wind, to which has been reflected in the auction clears as the sharp drop around the time the power demand profile is rising (later afternoon/evening ramp) creates havoc for the model solving the equation. The massive wind creates just as much havoc with the solution tied to sending a negative ... » read more
Friday Oct 21, 2022   
Last Friday we published an article talking about ERCOT’s “HE20” problem. To briefly summarize, ERCOT’s unique combination of high wind penetration and growing solar presence currently results in less of a duck curve or evening ramp problem like what CAISO experiences, and more of an acute 1-or-2-hour period of scarcity that typically occurs around 7 or 8 in the evening. The article was prompted by one such scarcity event that occurred on the 12th of October, when the real time prices across all four hubs peaked at $1700/MWh due to a combination of high demand, and rapid loss of generation as the sun set before wind picked up. However, the scarcity event lasted about half an hour: prior to the event, there had been plenty of solar generation, and after the event ... » read more
Thursday Oct 20, 2022   
Recent transplants to the Portland area may find themselves questioning the conventional wisdom that the region is gloomy and wet for eight months out of every year or more, since the fall so far has continued where the summer left off with bright, sunny skies and pleasantly warm weather—even bordering on hot at times.  Instead of rain clouds or fog in the air, the first thing you notice when you leave your house in the morning the past few days is the pungent odor thanks to the Nakia Creek fire near Camas, Washington that is blowing smoke down South across the Columbia River and making Portland smell more like a campfire than the typical fall.  It is a testament to how dry it has been in October so far that the Nakia Creek fire has stuck around for so long and grown to ... » read more
Wednesday Oct 19, 2022   
As more regions around the country fight to meet increasingly ambitious renewable goals, the growing problem remains curtailments. Unlike thermal plants that can turned on and off to meet demand whenever it occurs, renewables are limited to the hours when nature shows up. With wind this can be variable, but solar is consistent. The sun shines during the day, although sometimes blocked by clouds, but is weakening or gone during the busiest hours of the day when it comes to power demand. What results is an abundance of energy during the middle of the day that needs to be curtailed and a lack of supply during the evening ramp. As solar grows in California, so does the curtailment problem and the evening ramp problem. The current market solution is batteries, designed to take from the grid ... » read more
Tuesday Oct 18, 2022   
Yesterday's NYMEX was one of the most violent sell offs we have seen in the history of the market. Futures fell 45 cents which was 7% of value in just hours taking the prompt contract down to just $5.99. The move continues the slide that began in late August just prior to the September bid week when as a comparative fuel, the price of methane has usurped the price of ethane. For a practical matter, the two are not perfect substitutes as the differences in heat and water content make the ability to push ethane into the natural gas stream a limited endeavor. Since it can be accomplished in small doses, ethane can also be used as a substitute for natural gas in industrial sectors daily operations if the supply can be readily secured.  Back in August the appreciation of NYMEX ... » read more
Monday Oct 17, 2022   
Over the past year, EnergyGPS has been covering the evolution of the CAISO battery fleet as part of the Platinum/Platinum Renewable packages we offer on our website.  We started out laying out the different markets to which the new technology had at its disposal, which are the ancillary service markets, real-time energy and the day-ahead auction clears.  It was clear that the fleet was going to attack the markets in the order mentioned as the 12-month coupon tied to capacity is ideal but as they capacity continued to grow, the margins tightened to which the only option left was the energy space.  Figure 1 | CAISO Battery Operations – Hourly The graph above is an illustration of the CAISO battery charging pattern (blue shaded area), discharge (orange shaded area) and ... » read more
Friday Oct 14, 2022   
In early 2021, we released an article that gave a high-level overview of the performance of wind and solar across all the US ISOs (plus the Pacific Northwest). We revisit the Renewables Awards once again for 2021, only 9 months late! This blog will focus on one category of the competition: the generation-weighted price that each resource earned. The table below shows the gen-weighted real time price of solar and wind resources across various markets in the US[1], sorted by 2021 values, from highest to lowest.  Figure 1 | Weighted Average RT LMP List by Market, Location and Resource - 2020 through Q3-2022 The lowest valued renewable resource shown here is SPP North Wind, winning first place in the category of Cheapest Renewable Resource just as it did back in 2020, with a weighted ... » read more
Thursday Oct 13, 2022   
The first 10 days of October took the wind out of the sails of a lot of folks in SPP country.  The last week brought a crushing blow to college football fans across the states of Kansas and Oklahoma.  The Jayhawks football squad came into last weekend with a 5-0 record and ranked the number 19 team in the country in the AP top 25 poll, their first time as a ranked team since October of 2009.  Their dreams of a truly special season were obliterated on Saturday as their star quarterback suffered a grade 3 shoulder separation during a 38-31 defeat versus TCU.  Their conference mates to the South may have been even worse off, as last Saturday’s Red River Showdown rivalry game between the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners left the Sooners reeling after ending the ... » read more
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