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Wednesday Feb 15, 2017   
Brayton Point Power Station is the largest coal plant in New England and consists of three units combing for 1,200 MWs of coal generation plus a 4th, 475 MW, oil fired unit. In late 2013 the facility owners announced that the coal unit would be retired in early 2017 which meant the end of coal generation in Massachusetts. The planned retirement has remained on schedule and is currently expected to shut its doors sometime this March.  As many of our readers are aware, New England sees some of the highest energy costs in the winter thanks to low natural gas ... » read more
Tuesday Feb 14, 2017   
This morning, almost every written publication across the country has some coverage of the Oroville spillway issues. To recap, the flooding and spillway damage would never occurred if California hadn't received a large amount of precipitation. Since October 1, almost all of the climate stations across Northern California are posting readings that are well above normal. After seeing so many years of drought, it has been a welcome sight to have full reservoirs. The problem is that the Department of Water Resources didn't keep outflows from the Oroville Dam ... » read more
Monday Feb 13, 2017   
The weather forecasts from various vendors have been showing quite of bit of red in the 8-14 day period and/or the 6-10/11-15 day periods across most of the Lower 48. Figure 1 | NOAA 8-14 Day Temperature Forecast Since it is only the middle of February, the warmer temperatures have shifted the overall rescom demand quite a bit lower in several regions east of the Mississippi and Texas.  In the West, temperatures continue to be slightly below normal but with the highest renewable energy penetration (due to California's RPS) the net thermal demand from power ... » read more
Friday Feb 10, 2017   
With little fanfare, Washington State implemented new carbon rules in January of 2017. The new rules, which were promulgated through the Washington Department of Ecology, apply to about 25 major emitters, including the state's five oil refineries and all major natural gas electricity generators. The rules are an exercise in gradualism, where large GHG emitters must reduce emissions by 1.7% annually. While this program certainly is not ambitious in terms of required carbon reductions, under certain conditions it could result in the price of carbon being reflected in ... » read more
Thursday Feb 9, 2017   
We sent out a market flash yesterday afternoon detailing the enormous amount of precipitation the state of California has been getting, especially Northern California as of late.  Per CDEC, the current precipitation level has surpassed last year's aggregated total for the entire water year.  Some forecasters are calling for more precipitation after a little reprieve over the weekend. Figure 1 | Precipitation Forecast for the 1-15 Day Period - California   The massive precipitation has led to several inches of rain hitting the already saturated ground as ... » read more
Wednesday Feb 8, 2017   
Heading into this winter we saw record high gas storage at facilities across North America.  Alberta storage was no exception as we rolled into October with over 420 MMCF in the ground which was 40 MMCF more than last year and 90 MMCF above 2015 levels.   Figure 1 | AB Storage Total NG Storage  Considering the unprecedented amount of natural gas in the ground both producers and storage facility operators hoped for an especially strong demand this winter or else the lack of storage space would limit flexibility moving ... » read more
Tuesday Feb 7, 2017   
Looking at the Northeast and Midwest portions of the country, we are starting to see a similar theme. Storage levels are on par with last year while underlying demand wanes with the gas to coal substitution in the power generation dispatch. As we look forward, this drop in power burns can be extrapolated right into the Q2 horizon. If those areas remain low, we will see storage injections outpace last year's rate.  Figure 1 | Northeast and Midwest Power Burns But with little additional transportation flows down to the Gulf and South Central portions of the ... » read more
Monday Feb 6, 2017   
Now that the first full week of February is upon us and the weather forecasts show warmer temperatures across most of the county in the 1-5 and 6-10 day periods, the question needs to be asked is winter over?  When it comes to the fundamentals, the warmer forecast is putting a damper on the overall rescom demand across the Midwest, Ohio Valley and the East.  For example, Chicago is looking at highs around 50 degree for today with the overnight lows in the upper 30's.  Tuesday will be a little colder while the latter part of the week drops down to ... » read more
Friday Feb 3, 2017   
In 1991 I was in my early 20’s living in New York City. My good job working for a major Wall Street bank wasn’t cutting it for me. I was looking for the next move in my career. As luck would have it, I was forced to spend more than a week in my tiny, third floor, walk-up apartment as I recovered from knee surgery. For those of you not familiar with the early 1990’s, Al Gore had not yet delivered the internet to the people. I didn’t have cable TV. I decided to put together a pile of books and articles to read to inspire my next career move. » read more
Thursday Feb 2, 2017   
Per out market flash we sent out the other day on wind generation across North America, the one area that really stuck out was the South Central where ERCOT and SPP saw a big increase in output in January compared to the previous month as well as last year.  This led to the net load in both ISO's to post lower net loads than they otherwise would have in years past.  Lets first take a look at ERCOT where January averaged over 1.7 GW higher this year compared to last year (7.2 compared to 5.5 GWa). Figure 1 | ERCOT Monthly Flat Average Wind Generation As you ... » read more
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