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Wednesday Apr 20, 2016   
Heavy rain fall in the South Central region this week caused massive flooding, primarily in the Houston area.  At one point the rain fall equated to four inches an hour, clogging run off drains and pushing creeks and rivers over their banks.  While the Lone Star State declared a state of emergency to deal with the rising waters the NG market aggressively traded up as the May contract rose 15 cents to settle around $2.09. The fundamentals behind the market strength were valid as production numbers declined and power burns rose.  While the ... » read more
Tuesday Apr 19, 2016   
Now that we are a couple of weeks into the storage refill season it is an appropriate time to do some quick balance sheet analysis of the present natural gas supply/demand picture. At this point, natural gas is clearly tighter when compared to April of 2015. Figure 1 details some of the year on year component changes to the natural gas landscape. The most notable items are ResCom demand, Power Burns, Exports to Mexico, LNG Canadian Imports and Production.  Figure 1 | North American Supply/Demand Balances Here we will discuss some of the factors that have ... » read more
Monday Apr 18, 2016   
With the hydro system flowing over 319 kcfs at McNary and 94 kcfs at Lower Granite, the generation out of the turbines is at/near their max capacity.  This has led to several of the dams to over-generation spill as the water has nowhere else to go.  Despite the higher hydro generation in the region, Midc's heavy load price was strong for today as it averaged $14.09.  Using weekend Malin gas that put the implied heat rate at an 8.79. Figure 1 | Midc Heavy Load Price This type of implied heat rate would entice gas fired power plants to nom up as it is ... » read more
Friday Apr 15, 2016   
The Mid Columbia is a liquid trading hub with a long daily price history. But the daily peak and off-peak Mid Columbia prices provide few insights into the hourly shape or the basis between various Northwest delivery points. Then came the Pacificorp EIM – the game changer. We now have more than a year of – not just hourly data – but rather 15 minute real time price data. While there are certainly some challenges associated with the EIM data, it provides a bright light that can inform decisions the way the standard peak and off-peak Mid Columbia price ... » read more
Thursday Apr 14, 2016   
In the energy industry there is terminology that makes a lot of sense, like on-peak and off-peak when you are talking about a load profile as the highest demand usually come during the daylight hours between HE 7 and HE 22 and the lower demand hours are when businesses are closed and people are getting ready for bed and/or sleeping.  When it comes to price, I am still not sure how the West has created its own unique set of on-peak days (Monday - Saturday) between HE 7 and 22 whereas the off-peak days are HE 1-6, 23-24 Monday - Saturday and all day Sunday. If you ... » read more
Wednesday Apr 13, 2016   
Baseload supply in the Northeast continued its decline this weekend as NY lost another Nuclear facility.  To recap, both NYISO and ISONE were without a major nuclear facility due to a scheduled refueling at Millstone 3 and a maintenance extension at Indian Point 2.   On Sunday Nine Mile 2 joined the outage ranks as the unit came down for refueling.  The loss of the unit drove up the thermal demand by 1200 MWs in NYISO.   Figure 1| NYISO Fundamentals Dashboard - Day Ahead On-peak Average The loss of Nine Mile nuclear ... » read more
Tuesday Apr 12, 2016   
Back in October of last year, the Aliso Canyon storage facility experienced a natural gas leak that led to the evacuation of nearly 3000 residents from the Porters Ranch community adjacent to the storage field. Governor Brown called a state of emergency and the largest gas storage facility in Southern California was shut down until a solution could be found. The loss of the Aliso Canyon storage facility in the SoCal Gas system has become a serious reliability concern for gas delivery during the peak consumption months. Aliso Canyon, being the largest storage facility ... » read more
Monday Apr 11, 2016   
With the warmer weather moving through the Pacific Northwest last week, the Northwest River Forecast Center (NWRFC) started to increase the overall flows on both the Snake and Columbia River tributaries to where this week is showing the former flowing over triple digits by mid-week while the latter has Grand Coulee jumping up to 150 kcfs by Wednesday. Figure 1 | EnergyGPS 10 Day Hydro Generation and Flows Putting both of these together takes the McNary flows from averaging around 240 kcfs last Friday up to 293 kcfs on the 12th and 307 kcfs by the 13th.  At these ... » read more
Friday Apr 8, 2016   
Will the California duck fly to Texas sometime soon?   Despite the fact that ERCOT and the CAISO have very different approaches to designing and operating electricity markets, the markets have ended up with the highest concentration of renewables in North America. What happens in one market can foreshadow what may happen in the other. Texas has led the charge in wind development. California has led the charge in solar development. With declining solar panel prices and a tremendous solar resource in Texas, the busbar price for solar projects in Texas keeps ... » read more
Thursday Apr 7, 2016   
California has been breaking records when it comes to temperatures for this time of year over the past couple of days.  This has been reflected in the overall load profiles across all of the load serving entities. Figure 1 | CAISO Peak Load - Actual and Forecast With the heat comes the lack of wind across the state as well.  As you can see in Figure 2 below, the overall wind output has been down across both regions over the past couple of days. Figure 2 | CAISO Wind Generation - Actual/Forecast You can see that the wind picks up in the North today, while ... » read more
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