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Thursday May 26, 2016   
Over the weekend, the NWRFC's ESP MAF jumped up significantly (from 103 to 106.8 MAF for the Jan-July time period at The Dalles) due to the precipitation on the ground (rain Sat/Sun) and what was showing up in the 10 day forecast.  As this week progressed, the NWRFC 10-Day QPF maps were showing the precipitation pattern diminish significantly as we headed into the long Memorial Day weekend. Figure 1 | NWRFC QPF - Days 5 and 6 (Sat/Sun)       Coming out of the long holiday weekend, the precipitation picks up for a day but then looks to dry out as we ... » read more
Wednesday May 25, 2016   
Monday marked a rather monumental day in the energy sphere as Watts Bar 2 started up.   Figure 1 | Watts Bar 2 - Both Towers showing signs of activity Per the NRC report yesterday, it showed the unit kicking out 37 MW onto the grid.  This generation marks the culmination of a projected that was started over 40 years ago and the first new nuclear facility in 20 years.  Figure 2 | NRC Daily Outages - Watts Bar 1&2 The launch of the new facility also represents a milestone in the clean energy (or at least carbon-free energy) movement ... » read more
Tuesday May 24, 2016   
On May 18th, Boardwalk Pipeline Company's Texas Gas Transmission announced that the .758 BCF per day Ohio-Louisiana Access project will start up June 1st. This pipeline reversal will connect the Utica and Western Marcellus basins to points in the southern part of Louisiana. The anchor shipper for the new north to south capacity is Sabine Pass LLC. They contracted for .3 BCF of the .758 BCF of capacity for the use of filling the demand needs of the second train of their liquefaction facility. The commercial operations date of the second train at Sabine Pass is expected ... » read more
Monday May 23, 2016   
With the last full week of May upon us and the long Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, California is looking at substantially lower temperatures this week.  For example, Sacramento is looking at highs in the low 70's in the beginning of the week then jumping up into the mid/upper 70's by Friday.  Burbank is going to hold pretty steady in the low 70's, which is well below the above normal averages we have seen most of the month. Figure 1 | Burbank Temperatures - Actual and Forecast From a CAISO peak load perspective, the leveling of temperatures ... » read more
Friday May 20, 2016   
The Pacific Northwest hydro system can be a major force in western US markets – especially during the spring runoff. In most years, the collection of the 60 largest Pacific Northwest dams put more than 20,000 MW on to the grid during the peak runoff weeks in May and June. This is enough power to meet all demand, fill up the ties to California, and crater off-peak prices close to $0 per MWh and on-peak prices below $10 per MWh. The Northwest dams generate more power than all the other dams in the west put together. Before there were concerns about negative-priced ... » read more
Thursday May 19, 2016   
Coming out of winter, the storage level was well above last year as things sat over 1 full TCF longer.  This was due to the mild winter we had across all of North America as well as plenty of production needing to find a home.  If you recall, in early December of last year, prices fell considerably as storage facilities were at/near capacity across the board and there was no res/com demand to speak of as the weather was mild.  This led to the market having to send a pretty strong price signal for natural gas to turn off (Marcellus traded down to $0.65). » read more
Wednesday May 18, 2016   
As we move through the back half of May we prepare for a steep jump in load as rising CDDs begin to drive cooling demand across the country.  Looking at last year, load increased nearly 80 GWs between today (mid May) to mid/late June.   Figure 1| US total load  7 Day Flat Average - GW/day The main question on everyone's mind is how will this load be met? Beginning February of last year we saw a distinct increase in natural gas power burns in comparison to the previous year as weak gas prices and tighter environmental ... » read more
Tuesday May 17, 2016   
On Friday May 13th, Columbia Gas Pipeline filed with FERC for the construction and operation of the Mountaineer Xpress Gas Pipeline. The 170 miles of new pipeline will carry 2.7 BCF per day of production out of West Virginia to Columbia Pipelines TCO Pool where it can access several anticipated pipeline expansions that will bring Northeast supplies to the Gulf and Midcontinent markets. It is anticipated that construction will start on this new pipeline in Q1 of 2017 for a 2018 start up date.  Figure 1 | Mountaineer Xpress Map   Once this 2.7 BCF per day of ... » read more
Monday May 16, 2016   
The sunny blue skies quickly disappeared this weekend in the Pacific Northwest saw plenty of rain hit the region and cooler temperatures.  The change in the weather pattern has an impact on the supply/demand components starting with the wind generation.  As you can see in Figure 1, the weekend output increased on Saturday but really jumped up on Sunday as the peak output topped the 3,300 MW mark during the morning ramp hours. Figure 1 | BPA Wind Generation - Hourly It still was not as high as last Monday, but quite a bit higher than what we saw during the ... » read more
Friday May 13, 2016   
With the passage of Oregon’s new RPS obligations, it seems like Pacificorp and Portland General are gearing up for a new round of renewable procurement. There is a flurry of activity as developers are dusting off their pipeline assets and transmission positions to see if they can get one more PPA out of their Northwest wind assets in the next few years before the production tax credit expires. The world has changed a bit since the last flurry of activity more than four years ago. Compared to a centralized RTO market, the BPA wind integration and transmission ... » read more
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