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Friday Oct 23, 2020   
Denver has their basketball Nuggets, who actually took on two game sevens only to run out of gas against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals while in the bubble.  When it comes to food, some of the most notable nuggets out there are served under the 'Golden Arches' known as McDonalds.  The final type of nugget that comes to mind is the one the San Francisco football team is named after, which is the 49'ers.  The 49'ers nickname defines the minor or other person that took part in the 1849 California Gold Rush where the search for gold nuggets is part of the state's legacy. Figure 1 | Nuggets Abound Speaking of legacy, over the years the California energy markets have been blazing their own trail by deregulating in the late 1990's, implementing a ... » read more
Thursday Oct 22, 2020   
In the sports world, one of the many phrases that became popular over the years comes from Jimmy Johnson who at the time was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.  He took the job of America's Team under new owner Jerry Jones, who just so happened to be Jimmy's college teammate at the University of Arkansas.  Jerry let go of then legendary coach Tom Landry as the team was have a couple of dismal years after winning Super Bowls with Roger Stabauch as the quarterback.  They had one super star to speak of by the name of Hershal Walker, who was in his prime as a running back in this league.  As the story is told, they were able to draft a quarterback by the name of Troy Aikmen and make a blockbuster trade mid-year early in Jimmy’s coaching career.  The basically ... » read more
Wednesday Oct 21, 2020   
Northwest Pipeline has been under a force majeure condition since the 16th due to remediation needs in the Goldendale-Willard corridor. Part of the pipe had to be cut out and replaced, as a result the capacity through the path had gone to zero.  A notice came out yesterday stating that the work was completed successfully and that that gas will be able to start flowing east to west once again.  The issue now is that the work around the Roosevelt and Goldendale corridor will be continuing on through November 2nd.  Such work is restricting the flow capacity at Roosevelt where it will remain around the .4 BCF mark for the balance of the month.  This is an increase compared to the recent Goldendale-Willard work mentioned above but right in-line to the capacity we were ... » read more
Tuesday Oct 20, 2020   
Since the crude oil crash in April the Alberta Intra demand has been hampered by the slowdown in oil sands production and COVID lock down actions. Through the whole summer the demand had been under similar load days from 2018 and 2019. But since the last week in September the demand has been making a steady climb back to normal. It culminated this week with Nova sendouts pushing all the way up to 5.8 BCF. That is the first time the demand has printed above previous years since last winter. At first glance the jump in demand would just be a reflection of the bitter cold weather they are experiencing. Departures in the province have dropped to 20 degrees below normal. But not so fast. The recovery started weeks ago suggesting that the Alberta economy is on the mend. Figure 1 | ... » read more
Monday Oct 19, 2020   
It seems like it has been awhile since we have talked about California solar curtailments as they pertain to the CAISO market.  If you recall the last time we focused on the volume being curtailed it was last spring when the Covid-19 virus was pushing countries and states into full lockdown mode and the economic downturn was evident throughout.  The month of April is starting to stick out as a month that has too much solar as both local and system curtailments were present every day with the former well above previous years while the latter tends to pick up steam as the power demand is low and the the daylight hours are starting to get longer hence more solar generation is being produced. Figure 1 | CAISO Total Curtailments Looking at the individual parts (local and system) ... » read more
Friday Oct 16, 2020   
Determining the shape value of a resource is a deceptively simple task. It is simple because the calculation is an easy one: for a given time period, take the generation-weighted price and divide by the flat average price. It is deceptive because there’s more to it than just what prices appear at what times of day. Before continuing, some definitions will be useful: As-Generated Shape Value is the historical, real-time, as-generated production-weighted price divided by historical, real-time, average price. 12x24 Shape Value is calculated as historical, real-time, 12x24-weighted price divided by historical, real-time, average price. This metric gets at the value of the resource if its generation were identical on each day of a given month. Negative Covariance is calculated as the ... » read more
Thursday Oct 15, 2020   
As a kid, I remember when leaving the house early in the morning with my grandfather after a night or heavy rain. We would walk around the yard with a flashlight and a bucket.  The goal was to fill up the bucket with night crawlers (worms) that have risen to the surface after the rains urged them top come up from the soil.  The vivid memory of plucking them out of the grass and into the plastic bin also has the words "son, the early bird always gets the worm" vertebrate in my head.  I have to say, there were times that we could see two shiny eyes off in the distance on those chilly mornings only to flash the light over and see a crow feasting on the same night crawlers we wanted to capture for our next fishing expedition. Figure 1 | Early Bird Gets the ... » read more
Wednesday Oct 14, 2020   
The 2020 Hurricane/Tropical Storm season will go down in the record books as twenty-five storms have been named since the start.  One of the last storms named with the common alphabet letters, Hurricane Laura, hit the heart of Louisiana as it made landfall just east of New Orleans.  This included Cameron Parish, which is the home of several processing plants as well as the new liquefied natural gas facilities known as Sabine and Cameron.  The former was offline for a bit as they had to access the damage.  After a couple of weeks, the Sabine natural gas nominations ramped back up to levels prior to the Category 4 hurricane.  Cameron was not so lucky as they lost power that had to be restored and to make matter worse, the channel used to move the fully-loaded ships ... » read more
Monday Oct 12, 2020   
Since the middle of August 2020, there has been numerous articles written about the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) having to adhere to rolling blackouts for a couple of days in Northern California.  This was the first time since the California Energy Crisis that the grid operators had to resort to such tactics to make sure the system was reliable everywhere else.  I ran across a news article this weekend where the headline read "California Rolling Blackouts during summer heat wave caused by 3 main factors".  The summary article came about from the joint effort report that hit the wire last week from the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) and the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) committee tasked to dig into the information.  Since ... » read more
Friday Oct 9, 2020   
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NWPCC or Council) is an important planning body in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region.   The Council, formed in 1980 as part of the Northwest Power Act, was created partly to respond to the inability of BPA and the region's utilities to effectively plan and adapt to changing circumstances (at that time the rising cost of nuclear power) as well as their inability to recognize the value of energy efficiency as a resource.  To this day, the NWPCC plans are still the premiere source of comprehensive long-term planning information for the region.  (The Northwest Power Pool provides important reliability and data sharing functions but does provide nearly the same level of transparency to nonmembers.) In draft ... » read more
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