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Monday Feb 8, 2016   
As expected the hydro generation in the Pacific Northwest shifted down over the weekend as the heavy load hours went from averaging 16,700 MW on the 3rd to settling in around 10,200 MW yesterday.  Figure 1 | Pacific Northwest Hydro Generation The reasons for the big shift down over the past couple of days is due to the lack of precipitation in the region as a high pressure system has moved in.  This has caused above normal temperatures along the Cascades and has kept the side flows at bay.   The next reason is that the Canadian flows have backed way ... » read more
Friday Feb 5, 2016   
With warmer weather looming and natural gas production ticking up due to increases in the Marcellus/Utica region, the front of the curve has shifted down quite a bit over the past week with the March contract going from $2.30 last Friday to settling at $1.972 this Thursday.   Breaking down the weekly information in a little more detail, here are the key drivers for such a move: Weather |  As we walked out the door last Friday, the March contract pushed up to $2.30 as the forecasts were calling for some arctic air to move down into the Midwest and ... » read more
Thursday Feb 4, 2016   
We have been watching SoCal closely this week as colder temperatures swept across the West of the United States. While the forecasts were by no means extraordinary, we did have our eyebrows raised as it appeared the SoCal gas system going to be tight considering the daily average temperatures that were in the forecast warranted roughly 4 BCF of Sendouts in SoCal Gas's system  The risk was twofold: First, withdrawals at Aliso Canyon had been limited as they entered into the 4th stage of the relief well drilling task to stop the leak in one of the wells. » read more
Wednesday Feb 3, 2016   
With front month contract trading below three dollar per mmbtu for a year now (as of yesterday, it is currently sitting at the $2.00 mark), it is not surprising to see gas drilling count taking another plunge. Gas drilling rig count in the US dropped to a new 5-year low of 121 count this past Friday. That is a 195 drop in gas rig count in just an year! Figure 1 | Natural Gas Drilling Rig Count in the United States, Year-on-Year Comparison The year-on-year drop is taking place across every shale. The largest decline is in Marcellus, followed by Haynesville, the ... » read more
Tuesday Feb 2, 2016   
  The Columbia River and aluminum smelting have been inextricably linked since the 1940’s. In December 1939, BPA signed a contract with Alcoa to provide 32.5 MW of power to its smelter in Vancouver, Washington. Other aluminum smelters were soon constructed throughout the Northwest, providing vital material for the war effort and bringing industry and jobs to many corners of the region. Boeing was busy building warplanes and was a primary customer of Northwest smelters during World War II. It has been estimated that electricity from Grand Coulee Dam alone ... » read more
Monday Feb 1, 2016   
Saturday's CAISO auction clear gave us a glimpse of what might be in store come Q2 as load was down, solar was strong, in-state wind spiked and imports from the Pacific Northwest were plentiful now that the DC intertie is back in the mix.  As a result, congestion on Path 15 showed up south to north as the excess MW tried to find a home. Figure 1 | Congestion on Path 15 S to N - 1/30/2016 As you can see in Figure 1, the bottleneck showed up between HE 10 and HE 15, which is right in the heart of the solar profile reaching its peak.  Breaking it down, HE 7-12 ... » read more
Friday Jan 29, 2016   
Earlier this week we sent out a newsletter stating how the Pacific Northwest grid was going to be getting longer, well those days are upon us as load has shifted down due to above normal temperatures moving through the West. This has shifted the overall power load profile down across the majority of balancing authorities as well as heating demand.  Figure 1 | Actual vs/ Forecast Weather - West Cities Up in the Pacific Northwest, the warmer weather impacted the supply side as well, specifically the hydro bucket where any precipitation was in the form of rain ... » read more
Thursday Jan 28, 2016   
As of early December 2015, the NYISO started releasing the real-time supply stack fuel mix.  This is similar data to what other ISO’s such as CAISO, MISO, SPP and NEPOOL release on a daily basis.  This information is pertinent as it tells us how much of each generation type is running.  Below is a breakout of the NYISO supply component’s capacity and the respective percentage to the overall total capacity. Figure 1| NYISO 2015 Supply Stack Capacity - Gen Type   For those of you unfamiliar with NYISO two things will jump out at you. » read more
Wednesday Jan 27, 2016   
Over the past week or so, the Pacific Northwest's hydro system has been kicking out more MW's than earlier in the month.  This is due to the fact that the recent precipitation West of the Cascades (rain) and warmer weather have increased the overall side flows on the Lower Columbia and Westside. Figure 1 | Side Flows - Lower Columbia/Snake Add to it, the fact that the Canadian flows out of International Boundary have picked up once again and Grand Coulee's inflows are averaging triple digits over the past two days. Figure 2 | EnergyGPS Short Term Hydro ... » read more
Tuesday Jan 26, 2016   
There had been talks of production drop this year due to producers’ hedges rolling off. While that is a plausible theory, recent pipeline nominations have not show the effect of hedges rolling off, at least, not yet. Production level has been strong in Lower Marcellus (Figure 1), which includes southwest Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia.  As you can see, the Lower Marcellus showed a year-on-year increase of +2.9bcf/d, a month-on-month increase of +0.3 bcf/d for January.   Figure 1 | Lower Marcellus Production 7 Day Average ... » read more
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