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Friday Dec 1, 2017   
On November 15th PJM published an important document with a very boring title – “Proposed Enhancements to Energy Price Formation.” In the last two weeks a number of clients have asked us about this proposal. This week I sat down and gave it a careful read. The body of the document is 24 pages with an additional 28 pages of technical appendices. After ... » read more
Thursday Nov 30, 2017   
Over the course of this year, power burns in the Midwest have been fairly low. The relative coal to gas price ratio is generally a telling factor, but recently gas generation has been lower than implied by this ratio.    Figure 1 shows the percentage of thermal generation served by gas on the vertical axis while the ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 29, 2017   
Now that Thanksgiving is safely in the rear-view mirror it is time to fully transfer to a Christmas theme. As everyone knows, the department stores have fully committed to the transformation as entire aisles, nay sections, of Christmas products have hit the shelves.  Walking around the neighborhood we are starting to see decorative lights and door wreaths ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 28, 2017   
Currently, there are a number of outages on the SoCal Gas system that are limiting the amount of gas that can be scheduled onto its system. Combined with a restricted use policy for the Aliso Canyon storage field implemented by the California Public Utilities Commission and ongoing transmission constraints has forced the gas prices for delivered gas in Southern California to ... » read more
Monday Nov 27, 2017   
While spending Thanksgiving with my family back in Wisconsin, I got to witness first hand a few of battles, two of which persists throughout the year while the other gets hot and heavy for 10 days around the Turkey holiday.  Let's start with the National Football League, where the Thanksgiving match-up pitted the Detroit Lions against the foe to the Northwest, the ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 22, 2017   
For the past week or so the majority of the meteorological discussions have been tailored around the strong "ridge" forming across the middle of the country.  The pattern is driving temperatures well below normal in the East of the country while keeping things relatively warm in the West. It remains to be seen just how long the pattern will hold but we can ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 21, 2017   
This past Friday, Pacific Gas and Electric filed their rate case for 2019. There have been quite a few developments since the last increase was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission. Safety issues, large decreases in gas demand and system improvements are fueling once again another huge increase in service costs. Rate cases are a long saga that will get ... » read more
Monday Nov 20, 2017   
California has been a focal point ever since the pipeline explosion and extended heat that hovered over the state in October.  November has seen a near-term forward market stay bullish off the notion that the SoCal Gas system will be tight and its Citygate cash prices will skyrocket as system operators try to balance the system.  Back in October, the strain on the ... » read more
Friday Nov 17, 2017   
Western US carbon policy has been coming across my radar screen quite a bit lately. There isn’t any “breaking news”, but there are a number of things going on that could have long term implications for western markets. The state of Washington is considering a carbon tax. The state of Oregon is contemplating a version of cap and trade that is independent of ... » read more
Thursday Nov 16, 2017   
October provided very strong wind throughout the central United States as both SPP and ERCOT saw their capacity factors increase substantially compare to that of August 2017..  In fact, the former saw its highest capacity factor (62%) of the year, which would have been higher if it not for massive curtailments throughout the month.  The latter was similar ... » read more
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