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Friday Aug 21, 2015   
With the weekend right around the corner, those of us who live on the West Coast, specifically the Pacific Northwest, have been enjoying the best weather of the summer as the daytime high reached 79 degrees in Portland yesterday and the overnight lows dipped down into the mid 50's.  This type of weather makes going to the coffee shop worthy of the experience, hit a food cart for lunch and have a pint of locally brewed beer while sitting out in the backyard at night.  Down in California, they are experiencing similar weather after the week started out rather ... » read more
Thursday Aug 20, 2015   
With the load coming on in the Pacific Northwest and wind picking up at the same time, the supply demand picture is getting looser and the means to move MW out of the region is vital. Over the next three days, the AC line connecting the Pacific Northwest to Northern California is derated down to 3,300 MWa.  The CAISO portion of the line is going from 3,200 MW down to 2,200 MW for Thursday and Friday. Figure 1 | AC Transmission Forecast - 7 Days What we saw in the CAISO market was the constraint for today, caused major congestion on the line as several MW were ... » read more
Wednesday Aug 19, 2015   
It all started last week Thursday when the EIA weekly storage number (65 bcf) spilled onto the floor.  This was well above market expectations as most people were thinking somewhere in the mid 50's if not lower.  By all accounts, this translated into the market missing it by 1-2 bcf/day.   Figure 1 | EIA Storage Release - 8/13/2015 Prior to the number, the prompt month (September) contract was trading in the upper end of the range ($2.90 ish).  Most supply/demand components were leaning toward the bullish side as well starting with the ... » read more
Tuesday Aug 18, 2015   
We are over halfway though the summer and there has been nothing pointing towards an El Nino type of weather pattern in the Central, East and Southern part of the country as the likes of Texas have been experiencing above normal temperatures over the last two/three weeks. Figure 1 | Houston High/Low Temperatures - Actual vs Forecast The West is the only area that seems to be holding true to the pattern as temperatures continue to be warm across the Pacific Northwest and California.  For example, Portland will be looking at its 26th day (today) of daytime highs ... » read more
Monday Aug 17, 2015   
Some of the heat that was sitting across Texas over the past few weeks is making its way into California as the CAISO load forecast is calling for its peak demand to top the 45.8 GW mark today. Figure 1 | CAISO Peak Load Forecast - 7 Day outlook As you can see in Figure 1, the uptick movement is across all three load serving regions, with Pacific Gas and Electric (PGAE) increasing the most day on day.  Both Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE) are already quite high as their respective temperatures are already well above ... » read more
Friday Aug 14, 2015   
Sitting at the outdoor seating dinner table last night reminded me how beautiful the Pacific Northwest can be on a nice summer night with a cool breeze moving the air around.  Earlier in the week, there was a lot of complaining how hot and humid it was as the overnight temperatures did not go below 65 degrees.  Yes, I said 65 degrees!!!.  For all you living in Houston or other warmer parts of the country, this seems pretty cool, but for us Oregonian transplants it was hot and humid. Such weather prompted Midc' supply/demand picture to tighten up as the ... » read more
Thursday Aug 13, 2015   
Entering this summer, most of the major weather vendors were calling for a strong El Nino weather pattern that would drive above average temperatures in the West and a below average temperatures in the Central/Eastern regions of the United States. Yesterday's high temperature in Portland broke 90 degrees for the 22nd time this year, considering Portland only averages 11 90+ degree days for the entire Summer, it appears that the strong western forecast was correct. However, looking across the rest of the US we don't see the same validation of the preliminary ... » read more
Wednesday Aug 12, 2015   
Over the past couple of days, there has been a lot of news (production, weather, power burns, etc) hitting the market that has kept the forward natural gas prompt month from moving below the $2.80 mark.  One thing that can be added to the list in the short term is unplanned nuclear outages.  Over the course of 7 days, there has been nearly 5,000 MW of nuclear generation reported offline.  As you can see in Figure 1, as of last week there was a mere 71 MWs reported offline per the NRC daily report.  As of yesterday, the agency reported 4,931 MW. » read more
Tuesday Aug 11, 2015   
With Portland's daytime high in the 90's and Boise showing triple digit highs coming out of the weekend, the Pacific Northwest load profile shifted up to a point that the middle of the day hours had to resort to pulling MW from the interties down into California. Figure 1 | Paci flows - DA CAISO Auction  The last time we saw the imports drop like this, we were facing extreme heat across the entire West (early July), a refill issue at Grand Coulee and the likes of Columbia Generating Station not quite yet at full capacity.  Fast forward to yesterday, the ... » read more
Monday Aug 10, 2015   
At the end June this year the supreme court overturned an EPA air pollution policy.  The policy aimed to limit the amount of mercury and air toxins (MATS) produced by coals plants. With the regulations removed, coal production was going to be a focus to many as we entered the summer.  As a result, we planned to keep a close eye on how the coal fleet reacted to such a ruling as well along with any increased load.  Leading up to the the summer months, the Eastern part of the country was seeing higher natural gas power burns, especially ... » read more
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