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Thursday May 4, 2017   
As I sit here and write this newsletter, the skies across Portland are clear blue and the temperature outside is 78 degrees!!  We have not seen this type of weather in some time as the overall winter season has been quite cold and the current spring days have been below normal.  This has kept both the rescom and power demand profiles above normal for this time of ... » read more
Wednesday May 3, 2017   
Looking at Power Burns recently we noticed what appears to be sharp shift over the last week compared to earlier in the month.  With warm temperatures across the East and South Central region an increase in cooling demand was to be expected.  Digging a little deeper, there is a larger story to tell. Figure 1 breaks down the last 30 days of power burns by net load ... » read more
Tuesday May 2, 2017   
The first week of May was expected to be warm but as of yesterday, the weather runs continue to turn it up a notch with Phoenix showing highs in the upper 90's, Burbank in the low 90's while up in the Pacific Northwest Portland is showing low 80's for tomorrow with Wednesday jumping up into the mid 80's. Figure 1 | CAISO Temperature ... » read more
Monday May 1, 2017   
With the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) in California, everyone is keeping an eye on what is happening on the ground.  We have discussed terms like the 'Duck Curve' or 'Giraffe Neck' in previous newsletters.  Each one of these terms are tied to the solar penetration within the state and how it is shifting down the prices in the middle of the day and keeping the morning/evening ramp hours quite high as well as the light load hours. Figure 1 | CAISO Day-Ahead Prices/Heat Rates - Daily You can see on weekends, the light load hours trade well above the ... » read more
Friday Apr 28, 2017   
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, this winter seems to be dragging as the last few days have brought us chilly overnight lows once again.  In fact, I look at my thermostat every morning when I get up and see what it says about how cold it is in my house.  With the furnace programmed to turn off in the evening and kick in sometime around 5:00 am, I can usually gauge how cold the temperatures got outside overnight as it shifts down to 62 degrees on a cold crisp day in the middle of winter and is up around 69 degrees on a warm spring day.  When I awoke ... » read more
Thursday Apr 27, 2017   
As of roughly two weeks ago, the California precipitation record of 34 years (1982-83) was broken for the Northern Sierra's.  In fact, since then Mother Nature has continue to push more rainfall/snowpack into the region to a point that we are well beyond the previous record. Figure 1 | CDEC Northern Sierra Precipitation Levels (Inches) As you can see in the figure above, the current year's level of 92.8 inches is well above the 88.5 inch record of 1982-83.  The percent of normal for the 26th is roughly 206% of normal.  As we all know, precipitation ... » read more
Wednesday Apr 26, 2017   
The last week has seen material price swings at the Northeast gas hubs which are worthy of further discussion. There was a strong push up in basis prices as maintenance work began at the Cromwell Compressor station on the AGT pipeline which derated flows into northern Connecticut and Massachusetts to the tune of 100-200 MMCF for the 18th and 19th.  As a result, AGT was forced to price high enough to attract additional flows from Canada via Waddington on the IRQ Z2 pipeline. Once the compressor returned to full capacity AGT and Z2 fell below Transco ... » read more
Tuesday Apr 25, 2017   
This week marks the peak of the nuclear refuel outage season across the Lower 48 states. As of today, there are 23 GWs of nuclear generation capacity offline for seasonal maintenance. From this point forward the number of nuclear generating units on outage will start to decrease. From now into the first week of May we expect 11 GWs of capacity to return to the grid.  Figure 1 Nuclear Outages as per the NRC Daily Report as of April 23 The following plants will end their refueling cycles over the next ten days. If you notice, quite a few of those plants will ... » read more
Monday Apr 24, 2017   
When it comes to the hydro situation across the West, there is always something going on worth discussing.  The two areas that have presented themselves this past week are tied to the draft at Grand Coulee and the overall generation profile down in California.  Starting with Grand Coulee, the April Flood Control had the end of month elevation target at 1222 ft., which was verified in the April Flood Control numbers posted earlier in the month. Figure 1 | NWRFC MAF - The Dalles As you can see in the graphs above, the steady climb in MAF (snowpack) ... » read more
Friday Apr 21, 2017   
The last few months have been very interesting in the CAISO as strong hydro in the Pacific Northwest and California coupled with the steadily increasing solar output has caused oversupply and resulting curtailment on the western grid.  Today's newsletter is tied to what is happening in the EIM market as a result. Figure 1 | Renewable Production, Renewable Curtailment, and Flows Figure 1 depicts a typical recent week. Each pane of the graphic represents one day of data with hourly values for each day. The top pane shows CAISO solar production (shaded area) and ... » read more
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