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Tuesday Nov 16, 2021   
Late last week the meteorological discussions started to report a change in the weather pattern over the continent. The zonal flow pattern which keeps the jet stream moving in a west to east progression is starting to get more amplified due to the set up of two ridges. The first, over Alaska, was going to allow more southerly air to enter the west and Rockies keeping a broad warm and wet pattern over the region. This would also allow air from the northern latitudes to descend upon the eastern half of the country. But another ridge is developing over the North Atlantic. This is more of a blocking event which will prevent any reformation of the jet stream. This will further amplify the jet stream and prolong the duration. The result is a much colder change in the coming days which has ... » read more
Monday Nov 15, 2021   
The EnergyGPS Canadian Natural Gas and Power product has gotten a lot of attention lately as the market fundamentals in the energy sector continue to being elements to the table when it comes to the Lower 48 balancing act along with making sure Alberta has enough molecules come the coldest portion of the winter strip.  On the power side, we have a shifting thermal stack to that of natural gas while wind capacity is such that the 2.1 GW can swing from just under its capacity to that of below .100 GW across a couple of hours.  Such volatility does not sit well on a system that carries anywhere from 9.5 to 10.5 GW of load on a given heavy load hour. Figure 1 | Alberta Power Market Summary – Price/Imports/Wind Such volatility comes from the grid operators relying on the ... » read more
Friday Nov 12, 2021   
  I have come across two entertaining pieces of media in the last couple of weeks that readers may want to check out if you haven’t seen them already. The first is a satirical web site titled “Sunion.” Fashioned after the Onion, it provides fake news stories that are fashioned after real-life events with the goal of entertaining the reader. Their tag line is Satirical Renewable Energy “News” That You Can Trust. Indeed, for those familiar with the renewable energy industry, this is laugh out loud kind of material. I first heard about this site a week ago when a friend emailed me “someone at work just shared this (site) with me, freaking hilarious.” On Saturday morning another friend was furiously texting ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 10, 2021   
Since early April, Alberta gas production has been frequently breaking record highs.  In addition to the frequency of new records being established, the deltas at which previous records are being bested has at times been quite astonishing.  This is a theme we’ve discussed in depth over the past year with clients of EGPS’ Canadian energy reports, and remains relevant today as we head into winter.  This Thursday, we will be hosting a webinar to discuss this topic alongside a dive into our views on how Alberta gas and power markets will balance this winter.  This week, gas production hitting the TC Energy Nova system in Alberta (NGTL) reached a new daily record high of 12.97 Bcfd.  This was the 8th day this year in which a new all-time record has been ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 9, 2021   
Once a quarter we take time to read the earnings transcripts from major players in the energy industry. On Friday NRG, a merchant energy generator who also serves 3 million retail customers in Texas, had their earnings call. On the call they described some of the struggles they are having meeting their earnings expectations. One of the items that stood out was their decision to curtail coal generation on the PJM grid due to upstream supply issues for emissions controls. Typically the emissions controls on a coal power plant use chemicals such as ammonia to remove toxins from the exhaust stream. It was not discussed as to why there were supply constraints but the effect is to keep lower priced coal generation off the grid in lieu of gas generation. There was no timeline for the resolution ... » read more
Monday Nov 8, 2021   
Over the past couple of weeks, the EnergyGPS Newsletter Product Offering has published a couple or reports tied to the battery technology tied to the California and Texas power grid. The first was an article titled, ‘Battery Lessons from CAISO’, where the focus was on what we could learn from California’s push for battery storage and apply it to ERCOT as the opportunity seems to be ripening as the wind volatility is now tethered to that of the solar penetration. Figure 1 | ERCOT Solar Growth – Monthly Capacity Accumulation The graph in the figure above details the assumed capacity factor (top pane) for ERCOT solar by taking the monthly average (bars in bottom pane) and dividing it by the accumulated peak output on the grid (line graph).  What you can clearly ... » read more
Friday Nov 5, 2021   
For the second straight day, our blog is highlighting events in the Pacific Northwest tied to hydro generation.  It is early on in the new water year that began in October and there are a lot of moving parts as the plan for the hydro system is set in place for the coming months.  One recent and significant change is the adoption of a new set of rules governing spill over the dams for eight dams in the spring months.  These rules are intended to provide extra flows of water to assist the salmon and other fish travel along the Columbia and Snake rivers.  The new spill rules constitute a major change from last year, which were set forth in the 2021 Fish Operations Plan (FOP). Figure 1 | Spill Over the Top of Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River The 2021 FOP spring spill ... » read more
Thursday Nov 4, 2021   
The Pacific Northwest has transition into the fall season rather nicely as the overcast skies have been met with periods of rain that remind of what is like to live in a part of the country that is very colorful from the moisture the jet stream provides off the Pacific Ocean.  When it comes to the electricity sector, the precipitation is only one element in the equation that is known as the hydro system.  Per the EnergyGPS Pacific Northwest Hydro Package, we cover this element in great detail and since we have just kicked off a new water year and the calendar turned to November there is plenty to discuss. Figure 1 | Pacific Northwest Hydro Dams – McNary The first action plan was tied to syncing up with a new 30-year normal Water Year (1991-2020) as we crossed through ... » read more
Wednesday Nov 3, 2021   
ERCOT real-time market prices in Monday’s trading saw a resurgence in volatility after the previous week of relative calm.  In the span of just two hours, prices across ERCOT went from double-digit handles to more than $500, the highest price in a week and second strongest print since mid-August.  In the days preceding the event, we discussed with clients in our ERCOT Daily Dashboard commentary that there would be a handful of factors that would collude to create a price surge but pointed out that one of the major drivers would be a large swing in wind generation.  This week’s wind swings are instructive as they’re typical of this time of year and sit within market participants’ memory of last February’s Deep Freeze event that obliterated ... » read more
Tuesday Nov 2, 2021   
This week the California Public Utilities Commission has a a couple of voting measures on the docket that have the chance to alter the current reliability concerns for the gas delivery in the state. On the November 4th meeting there are two separate proposals to increase the working gas capacity at the beleaguered Aliso Canyon storage cavern. The first Proposed Decision (PD) would move the current inventory limit from 34 to 68 BCF which is the level recommended by an independent study to assure enough in ground supply for Southern California based on the current pipeline import capacity. There is another Alternate Decision (AD) that would increase the inventory from 34 to 41 BCF assuming the import limits would be increased this winter. The increase in storage capacity is deemed ... » read more
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