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Thursday Mar 21, 2024   
The ERCOT market continues to present opportunities for flexible generation such as peakers and the newly minted battery fleet.  This was evident during the summer months when power demand was breaking records all the while the wind/solar generation was eating away at the midday net load volume.  The discussions around adding peakers is being addressed and spoken at every conference while the battery technology continue to see the costs unwind and the processing of getting capacity to the grid a focal point by all. Figure 1 | ERCOT Battery Fleet – Hourly Profile Summary We track the ERCOT battery fleet economic and revenue streams in the ERCOT Daily Dashboard (sample) that is part of the EnergyGPS eCommerce Platinum Plus Package we offer to interested parties via our ... » read more
Wednesday Mar 20, 2024   
In California, SP15 batteries have benefited from the transmission constraints that have been in play since Fall 2023 while NP15’s fleet has been on the other side of things leading into March 2024. We covered it most recently in ‘More Good News for SP15 Batteries’. The tide started to turn this past weekend. Northern California’s battery fleet rejoiced as the NP15 batteries’ arbitrage opportunity outpaced that of Southern California for the first time this year as Sunday’s (17th) saw price drop down $65 consistently during the midday period while bouncing up to the low $40 level during the evening ramp period. In our most recent article, ‘Northern Battery Light’, we examine the good news for NP15 batteries. Read on for a sneak peek. Figure ... » read more
Tuesday Mar 19, 2024   
The Texas market has some interesting things going on within the power and natural gas space the past couple of weeks as Mother Nature swings temperatures while West Texas has a glut of natural gas molecules which ultimately have prices settling in negative territory.  In between all of this is the power sector where volatile wind is in play, growing solar and increased outages now that half of March is in the books.  Figure 1 | ERCOT Net Load Breakdown Each of the elements mentioned are covered in the EnergyGPS South Central Package, which is a subset to the North American Power and Natural Enterprise Market Fundamental Product Offering we offer to entities in the energy space. Last week, Houston Shipchannel saw its previous low cash settle broken by settling in at $1.08 only ... » read more
Monday Mar 18, 2024   
Transition creates volatility in the energy sector, especially power as regions tied to large quantities of wind capacity can see their respective hourly balancing equation to be turned upside down depending on what Mother Nature provides.  We have seen this unfold across Texas, SPP and the Midwest ISO region with the North Zone displaying the latest price action saw the Minn Hub heavy load settle $9.32 on Sunday which is rich compared to the $1.50 average price posed for Saturday (March 16th).  The impact of the renewable components was detailed in the latest EnergyGPS special report (titled | MISO Soup - Renewable Ingredients), which is part of the eCommerce Platinum/Platinum Plus packages we offer to interested parties in the energy space. Figure 1 | MISO North Zone Net ... » read more
Friday Mar 15, 2024   
For the last several years we’ve seen signs of tightening throughout Western electricity markets. CAISO experienced rolling blackouts in 2020. The January 2024 winter storm triggered multiple energy emergency alerts across the Pacific Northwest. Cash markets have experienced price spikes with increasing frequency. These and other reliability concerns have helped pave the way for a regional resource adequacy program called the Western Resource Adequacy Program (WRAP).  The WRAP will create a methodology for determining resource adequacy need as well as for accrediting supply. This methodology will be used to determine whether WRAP members have met their RA compliance obligations through a forward showing process. While the WRAP will not create a market for RA via a market ... » read more
Thursday Mar 14, 2024   
The presence of oversupply in Southern California during the middle of the day is nothing new.  The robust solar capacity present in the region means that curtailments are a fact of business in SP15, and this past week is no exception.  For the past six days, solar curtailments have averaged over 1 GW, climbing to over 3 GW on the 8th and 9th.  In CAISO, the oversupply issue has grown more and more severe each month since December, reaching unprecedented levels so far in March.  Total solar curtailments averaged 1.4 GW (and 81%) higher in January of this year than in January 2023, 609 MW higher in February, and 3.7 GW (20%) higher through the first 12 days of March. Figure 1 | CAISO Daily Average Curtailment MWh by Month  We’ve written about the challenges ... » read more
Wednesday Mar 13, 2024   
The spring maintenance for nuclear plants is trailing behind previous years. As of Tuesday, March 12th, the total amount of US nuclear outages stands at just 10 GW. That’s down 2.1 GW from the week before and more than 4 GW behind outages on the same day in both 2023 and 2022. The figure below is featured in our daily NRC Nuclear Plant Summary report. The dotted black line shows our forecast for outages which includes upcoming refueling cycles, as well as estimated outage end dates for plants currently partially or fully offline. While outages are down slightly this week as the first round of spring refueling winds down, we expect the second half of March to bring outages much closer to previous years’ levels. Figure 1 | Total Nuclear Plant Outages (MW) As of yesterday, there ... » read more
Tuesday Mar 12, 2024   
The weekend was filled with modest weather across most of California where the skies in Southern California carried some blueness that led directly to solar output tapping the 17 GW level during its potential peak output.  The idea around seeing this much utility-scaled volume make its way to the grid is magical but unrealistic given the transmission constraints that continue to plague the region, starting with the S to N limitation tied to Path 15, which connects Southern California to the northern part of the state.  The other piece of the puzzle is the S to N restriction tied to the NOB transmission line, which connects the LA Basin to that of the Pacific Northwest.  The final piece is the interconnect between the Desert Southwest and Southern California where a base ... » read more
Monday Mar 11, 2024   
The weather across the country is displaying signs of spring while carrying with it the final days of the winter season.  Take the Pacific Northwest for example, Friday displayed sunny skies with highs topping 60 degrees only to take on a weekend storm that brought with it plenty of wind and rain at the lower elevations and snowpack as you moved up the mountains.  California saw a similar pattern with Thursday and Friday quite pleasant in the Bay Area and further south while the weekend saw the sky blanketed in clouds while inland has the Sierra Mountains another round of snow. Figure 1 | California Snowpack Tables Since the start of the month, the California snowpack storage level as jumped considerably with the current readings as of Sunday displaying 16,079 kaf or 16.08 ... » read more
Friday Mar 8, 2024   
Western electricity markets are at a crossroads. Pressing reliability needs have motivated the development of the Western Resource Adequacy Program. The need to integrate large volumes of new renewables has provided the motivation to expand centralized markets (my general term which covers RTOs/ISO/EIMs) throughout the Western Interconnect. The Western Energy Imbalance Market (WEIM), brought to you by CAISO, currently has 22 balancing authorities participating. The Western Energy Imbalance Service Market (WEIS), brought to you by SPP, has 12 participants. The CAISO’s WEIM covers a larger geographic area and has more load than the WEIS, which is mostly in Colorado and parts of Wyoming. While the WEIM and WEIS represent great first steps towards the development of centralized markets ... » read more
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