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Monday Nov 28, 2016   
Over the past six weeks, the State of California has seen above normal precipitation with October being one of the wettest on record.  After taking a little pause at the beginning of November, the past week has increased the total level by 3.3 inches.  This puts the percent of average right around the 192% mark as of this past weekend. Figure 1 | CDEC Precipitation Levels - Inches As you can see in the chart above, the current year's pattern is similar to two years ago when the back half of November and all of December was quite wet only to flatten out ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 23, 2016   
Prior to this week, the longer term weather forecasts have been calling for moderate weather in the Southwest and Southern portion of California between December and March.  This gave the market participants confidence that everything was going to be ok when it came to having enough gas to balance the SoCal system sendouts. Over the past year, SoCal Gas has been dealing with the Aliso Canyon leak which has hindered their ability to inject gas.  The summer saw some heat but nothing that really stretched the system.  What we did see on the days that were ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 22, 2016   
Over the years there are two price points that come to embody the volatile price action we often see during winter demand conditions. The Algonquin Gas Transmission and the Pacific Gas and Electric Citygate have come to be known as the peaking price point for both the east and west coast but for two very different reasons. Algonquin has been constrained largely in part because of two main issues. The geology of the area is not conducive for building gas storage caverns and an unwillingness to build gas pipeline to carry Gulf or Marcellus gas volumes to Boston. » read more
Monday Nov 21, 2016   
One stat that stuck out to me last night after watching the Green Bay Packers lose for the fourth straight game and five out of last six was the fact that NFL kickers missed a record setting 12 extra-point attempts across all games yesterday.  It should be noted that the NFL moved the extra-point attempts back to the 15 year line starting last year (instead of the 2 yard line).  This changed the distance to the uprights (goal posts) from 17-19 yards to more like 32-33 yards. One of the kicks was indoors so it is safe to say, the weather did not impact the ... » read more
Friday Nov 18, 2016   
This week I attended the AWEA Wind Energy Fall Symposium in San Antonio. With the conference coming less than a week after the election, there were a lot of sad and stunned people walking around. There was also plenty to talk about. The election of the Donald has thrown many markets and industries into chaos. The energy sector is no exception. Trump is a self-professed climate change skeptic. As a result, after he was elected the stock prices of fossil fuel companies surged while those of some renewable companies fell. For example, the stock of Sunpower fell 14% the ... » read more
Thursday Nov 17, 2016   
If you did not know, Palo Verde (meaning 'green pole' or 'green stick') is the state tree of Arizona.  In the energy space the name itself is given to the major 500 kV transmission line that moves power from the Desert Southwest to California.  One could look at it as the green pathway held up by poles that creates green $$s for the participants the Desert Southwest.  That green turns to red if the line is derated in capacity and congestion occurs in the CAISO Day-ahead auction.  There is little time for the yellow light as the transmission path is ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 16, 2016   
Over the past 3-4 days, we have a seen some serious shifts in the weather outlook for the balance of the month.  For example, since walking out the door last Friday (Nov 11th) we have seen 42 HDDs added to the 15 day forecast compared to yesterday's morning weather run (nov 15th)  Figure 1 | Daily HDD 5 Day Period Comparison – by Region The largest deltas have been in the East and Midwest regions of the United States.  As will notice from figure one above are driver of the increased HDDs has been the 6-10 day period as a cold front ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 15, 2016   
As we mentioned last week, there has been a fall in coal output in many of the reliability areas across the country. MISO, SPP and PJM have all seen coal generation drop to levels last seen this past Q2 as the cash natural gas prices across the Midcontinent have dropped to near the $2.00 level. The turn around reverses much of the coal output that was reinserted into the stack after the big price move in June where those same Midcontinent prices jumped from $2.00 to near $3.00. As we look ahead to December, we see additional natural gas price ... » read more
Monday Nov 14, 2016   
Leading up to last Tuesday, there was a lot of anticipation on both who will be the next President of the United States of America as well as at the state level as measures/initiatives/ballot elects were on the docket.  Out West, in the State of Washington, the first ever Carbon Tax was on the voter's ballot. Initiative 732 (I732) was a direct tax on all carbon emitted instruments, including natural gas fired generation.  The charge was going to be $15/metric ton starting in July 2017 and going to $25/ton the following summer.  From there it was going ... » read more
Friday Nov 11, 2016   
On Thursday November 10th I attended an excellent meeting in San Francisco hosted by The Energy Foundation and coordinated by 3Degrees. The purpose of the meeting was to engage Bay Area C&I customers to explain the expansion of the CAISO into a regional ISO would benefit them. The presenters included Don Furman from Fix the Grid, Melissa Seymour from MISO, and Tim Belden (me) from EnergyGPS. The attendees included many of the large C&I as well as large direct access loads. With C&I customers representing an increasingly large block of buyers of renewable ... » read more
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