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Thursday Apr 13, 2017   
Vince Lombardi once said, "What the heck is going on around here?" when he was referring to the play of his football team. His voice was stern but had a tone of dismay to what he was seeing.  The Pacific Northwest over the past few weeks could have the same quote with a similar tone. Figure 1 | BPA Wind/Load/Thermal/Net Interchange Values - Hourly Looking at Figure 1, there is a lot to talk about to answer Vince's question.  Let us first take a look at the red line, which represents BPA's power demand (load) within its balancing authority. » read more
Wednesday Apr 12, 2017   
Looking out at the North American power landscape one thing that stands out to us are the exceptionally strong nuclear outages. Starting around April 1st the total outage number began to deviate strongly from 2015 and 2016. Currently, there are over 21 GWs worth of nuclear outages across the US which is roughly 6 GWs above the last two years.  Figure 1 | Total Nuclear Plant Outages vs last 6 years - ConUS MWs Typically, an uptick in nuclear outages translates into stronger power burns as combined cycle units ramp in to pick up the slack, however this is clearly ... » read more
Tuesday Apr 11, 2017   
Just a two weeks ago, the temperature outlook for most Northeast cities had a significant amount of heating load. Overnight lows in Boston were still getting down into the high teens which was 8 degrees below normal. This winter weather was driving Residential/Commercial demand to levels well above historical average. But since the beginning of the month, the transition to spring like conditions has begun. The associated drop in demand is a big reason why we are seeing natural gas cash prices delivered on Algonquin Pipeline drop to less than half of what we saw in ... » read more
Monday Apr 10, 2017   
With the Pacific Northwest hydro situation not going away (system is near full capacity) and California having their own issues during the middle of the day when load is low, wind is blowing and the sun is shining the only outlet is to move the cheaper power from the Pacific Northwest up into Canada and ultimately syncing with the Alberta Power Pool.  It evident more so on the days when the Pacific Northwest experiences bigger wind output on the grid. Figure 1 | Bonneville Wind Generation - Hourly If you look at the transmission flows on the days when wind tops ... » read more
Friday Apr 7, 2017   
On Thursday California’s 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento voted 2-1 to uphold California’s cap-and-trade system. This was a huge win for environmentalists and creates an increased level of certainty around California’s carbon regulations. The decision from the Appeals court could still be appealed to the California Supreme Court. The decision makes for an interesting read. Officially titled “Morning Star Packing Company v. State Air Resources Board”, the case evaluates whether the cap-and-trade system represents a tax on ... » read more
Thursday Apr 6, 2017   
Last summer the Algonquin Pipeline had a very disruptive maintenance schedule that lasted from the first of April through the end of October. The capacity on the pipeline through the Stony Point compressor was cut from 1.2 to .67 BCF while construction crews looped in Spectra's Algonquin Incremental to Market expansion. Once the construction was completed in November, the rating of the pipeline through Stony Point was increased from the derated amount of .67 to 1.8 BCF per day. This summer there is another series of maintenance derates but they are nothing like what ... » read more
Wednesday Apr 5, 2017   
As we move into April we are starting to see spring weather creep into the forecasts across the US.  In the PNW for instance, the skys have begun to clear and daytime highs are pushing up into the 60s which is a welcome sight after a long wet winter.  In the Northeast the overnight lows are running well above freezing and the daytime highs are forecasted to reach 70 degrees as early as next week in Hartford CT.  Across the US April is a month of change as the Northern Hemisphere makes the welcome transition from Winter to Summer.  The impact of the ... » read more
Tuesday Apr 4, 2017   
As we head into the first full week of April, the CAISO grid is shifting around due to decent load, volatile wind and the import capacity from the Pacific Northwest reverting back to levels we saw at the end of March instead of the lower capacity posted on the transmission outage report late last week.  As a result of all this, California's implied heat rates have shifted up but not nearly as high as they could have been given more megawatts can make their way N to S on the Paci transmission line during the morning and evening ramp. Figure 1 | CAISO Day-Ahead ... » read more
Monday Apr 3, 2017   
Last year about this time we rolled out the EnergyGPS California Tracker, where the goal was to cover both the power and natural gas happenings within the state.  Over the past twelve months, the rollout has been a success as the feedback from clients has been positive.  We continue to cover the regulatory situation with Aliso Canyon, PGAE storage, the renewable penetration and what is going on with the in-state hydro given we this year is one of the wettest on record. This past week, the title of the weekly report was 'The Return of Redwood', as the firm ... » read more
Friday Mar 31, 2017   
It’s Spring Break week for Oregon primary and secondary schools. I’ve spent the week enjoying the warmer climate and stunning sights in Arizona. The sunshine does a body good, especially after a particularly wet, cold, and bleak Oregon winter. Stepping away from the blow-by-blow of the work day allows me to pan out and take a look at things through a slightly broader lens. I’ve been reading articles about the energy industry – the ones I don’t ever get to when I’m at my desk. The Wall Street Journal does a good job covering the ... » read more
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