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Tuesday Sep 19, 2023   
Food cart excursions within the Rose City (Portland) are common as there are several to choose from throughout. One favorite amongst tourists and locals is the establishment called the Asylum.  The establishment of food and beverages is named after 19th- century hospital for the mentally ill.  The pod’s design mimics such a place as it is surrounded by rock walls and circular barbed wire fence with small windows selectively placed and only one grand entrance. Figure 1 | Portland Food Cart - Asylum Since are over 15 food carts present/open at any time, one could get a bit confused when trying to pick one.  This is why they introduced a beverage cart at the entrance and built out a massive firepit set up where a group of individuals can sit around and discuss their ... » read more
Monday Sep 18, 2023   
The fallout from last winter continues to be in play when it comes to the decisions around Southern California’s natural gas landscape, specifically SoCal Gas’s storage facility known as Aliso Canyon.  If you recall, Mother Nature delivered a cold start to the winter season and the adjacent power regions were dealing with short portfolios as hydro waned and structural power demand was in play.  This led to the Pacific Northwest to actual export megawatts from the CAISO grid instead of providing energy during the crucial evening ramp block of hours.  The Desert Southwest was just short and leaning on the CAISO grid for its megawatt balancing during the same period.  At the end of the day, the storage gas volume was being consumed at a record pace. Figure 1 | ... » read more
Friday Sep 15, 2023   
If one’s comfort zone is where dreams go to die, then the dream was alive and kicking in ERCOT this summer while back east, especially NYISO, temperatures and grid conditions were quite a bit more …comfortable. For much of summer 2023, particularly July and August, a regional “heat dome” coupled with rapid recent population growth challenged ERCOT grid operators with record-breaking load and renewable market penetration. But for all the heat, load growth, and supply changes in Texas and the southwest, just as notable is where the heat didn’t show up, specifically the east, PJM, and especially NYISO. If ERCOT grid operators had been looking for a lower-stress job where they might get a little more down time and chance to catch up on reading, NYISO would have ... » read more
Thursday Sep 14, 2023   
In our latest Newsletter Renewable Monthly Report, “August 2023 – Texas Standout”, the focus was on the unique position of ERCOT this summer compared to other energy markets across the US.  In contrast to California and much of the eastern US, Texas has continued to experience intense summer heat.  There was not a single day in August or September so far that ERCOT’s composite temperature was not above the 5-year average.  The daily average hovered around 90 degrees throughout the past six weeks.  The impact on electricity demand was profound in August, just as in July.  ERCOT system load averaged 67.8 GW for the month of August, which is a full 10 GW higher than in August of 2022 and 12 GW higher than 2021.  The year-on-year ... » read more
Wednesday Sep 13, 2023   
On August 20th, the CAISO battery fleet missed the mark. If a battery had followed the same pattern as the fleet while attempting to capture real-time arbitrage, more than $3 per megawatt-hour would have been lost. The figure below is displayed every day in our CAISO Daily Battery Dashboard. The orange line in the bottom panel displays the generation-weighted arbitrage, which calculates how much real-time arbitrage a ‘typical’ battery captures when following the generation pattern of the whole fleet. Also displayed is the TB4 arbitrage, which assumes an omniscient operator of a 4-hour battery can choose the best 4 hours for charging and best 4 hours for discharging in the RTM. The top panel divides the generation-weighted arbitrage by the TB4 arbitrage to show how well the ... » read more
Tuesday Sep 12, 2023   
The heat dome that has smothered ERCOT and other South Central regions all summer extended into September.  This historic event has set record highs and consecutive days where the high temperature topped the century mark in Houston, Austin and Dallas/Forth Worth.  Power prices have no choice but to be volatile with the early morning hours sitting in the low $20’s while portions of the heavy load block settle north of $3,000 in the day-ahead and hit the cap price of $5,000 in the real-time market.  The volatility has a flexible generator of power quite giddy as the spot natural gas settles cannot get above the $2.75 mark while the power markets average quadruple digits on days. The table below is on display in the EnergyGPS ERCOT Battery Dashboard, where we detail the ... » read more
Monday Sep 11, 2023   
The heat dome that smothered the South Central all summer and the early part of September has taken a turn as the daytime highs across the Lone Star State are currently below the century mark with a forecast showing the balance of the week shifting down into the low 90’s with overnight lows in the mid 60’s.  This type of pattern resembles that of storms that brew in the middle of the ocean and turn into Hurricanes with different category levels and weather forecasters attempting to track such a path to making landfall.  Figure1 | Heat Dome to Hurricane Lee Along the way, the eye of the storm is monitored to see if the cyclone type circular motion will be downgraded to that of a tropical storm or depression.  Eventually the severe weather pattern dies down and ... » read more
Friday Sep 8, 2023   
We’re on a roller coaster ride called Washington cap-and-invest, and many may be looking to get off.  To recap the events of the year thus far, prices cleared the first auction (in February) at $48.50 per allowance. Later, in June, prices shot up to $65 to $70 per allowance in the secondary market when Ecology released a statement that only just over 1 million  APCR allowances would be available in the first Auction of 2023, split equally between Tier 1 priced at $51.90 and Tier 2 priced at $66.68.  Furthermore, Ecology announced that a maximum of 8 million APCR allowances would be available in 2023, split equally among Tiers. The market was not expecting an equal split between Tiers, rather the availability of all Tier 1 allowances prior to any from Tier 2 were ... » read more
Thursday Sep 7, 2023   
A couple weeks ago, our blog post “Digging a Summer Hydro Hole” touched on the unique way the water year had played out this spring and summer in the Pacific Northwest.  After a sudden and abnormally large rush of water during the month of May, unregulated river flows in the Northwest during the subsequent months of June, July, and August were all at there lowest levels in the past fifteen years at least, with only 2015 having similarly dry conditions.  Hydro generation was therefore at a deficit compared to recent years, but came in much higher and more steady than the underlying river conditions would normally have warranted.  It was only thanks to aggressive releases of stored water from behind several dams high up in the system in British Columbia—most ... » read more
Wednesday Sep 6, 2023   
With the calendar page turned to September, we’ve entered the first month of fall. Although technically a few weeks remain in summer, the seasonal change was clear here in Portland over the holiday weekend with chilly weather and fake tombstones already adorning several lawns. Another sign of the seasonal change is the ramp up in nuclear outages in the first several days of the month. August ended with a little under 1.4 GW of nuclear outages, but by September 3rd, the number had jumped to 3.5 GW. While not all these outages can be attributed to the maintenance that is common for plants in the spring and fall, some plants do appear to be ramping off for a refueling cycle. In this blog, we’ll look into what we can expect for this fall’s nuclear outage season. Figure 1 | ... » read more
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