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Thursday Jul 8, 2021   
The Western power markets have been front and center for some time as the Desert Southwest has led the charge.  This all stemmed from last summer when the California market ran into a little bit of trouble balancing their grid on a Friday evening in the middle of August (2020).  The result was for CAISO to have its first energy-related rolling blackout in two decades up in Northern California.  As the weekend passed, the scramble was on to make sure there were enough megawatts available to the system operators so that the situation would not occur in the immediate future as temperatures were still rising.  The following Monday saw the market explode in the Desert Southwest as CAISO came out with the verbiage that they were cutting exports which meant that the Desert ... » read more
Wednesday Jul 7, 2021   
It is difficult to recall a time when the AECO summer gas prices have been as strong as they are now.  The AECO price is drawing extraordinary support from burgeoning demand driven by structural changes as well as temporal ones from a record-hot summer; strong exports to Eastern Canada and the U.S.; and the need to replenish depleted storage inventories.  Amid the strong demand, the supply-side is hamstrung from growing due to summer’s long maintenance on the primary gathering pipeline networks.  This is not just buoying the AECO cash market, but has led to a notably slow storage refill rate that is, in turn, radiating price strength well into the winter strip with minimal signs of abating.  Alberta supply is flatlined for the summer.  Gas production is de ... » read more
Tuesday Jul 6, 2021   
The 4th of July in Portland came and went without any real large bangs as the city banned the use of fireworks given the dry conditions that have been plagued the region so far in 2021.  This is the second year that the sky has not been filled with the massive displays as the pandemic crushed the crowd gathering events that once were in play for everyone to see and enjoy. Figure 1 | Fireworks Ban across the Pacific Northwest When it comes to the energy sector, there has not been any such ban this past year in the West as the last August's California rolling blackouts ignited a frenzy that started with massive displays of upward trending Palo Verde on-peak movements.  Each event from that point forward seemed to bring with it an even bigger fireworks display as scarcity due to ... » read more
Friday Jul 2, 2021   
All the news headlines have been on the heat dome that formed over the Pacific Northwest this past week, which was warranted as temperatures hit 116 degrees in Portland, Oregon and continue to hit triple digits in Western Canada, Montana, Idaho and parts of Eastern Washington.  While all this was going on, the East region of the United States was percolating its summer weather coffee pot as the daytime highs were reaching for its own triple digits.  The heat dome that resides in the East during this time of year includes the element known as humidity, which is additive to the uncomfortable feeling where cooling demand moves to the forefront of the conversation throughtout PJM, NYISO and ISONE.  Today's blog focuses in on the power demand in NYISO as the end of June saw ... » read more
Thursday Jul 1, 2021   
The month of June 2021 was one for the ages if you sat in the Pacific Northwest as Mother Nature delivered two heat waves one of which provided a heat dome that pushed temperatures up to 116 degrees in Portland, Oregon and 104 degrees around Seattle, Washington.  Both cities were on a trend of consecutive days breaking records not only the month of June but for the month of July it it were to happen today.  At the end of the day, the heat bubble was tramatic and it was all hands on deck when it came to making sure individuals and pets were safe from what Mother Nature delivered.  The other parts of the West were hot but nothing like what we saw in the region described. Figure 1 | Heat Wave for the Ages The chart above is very colorful in nature with the darkest red shade ... » read more
Wednesday Jun 30, 2021   
This week has been one for the AESO record-books, and, yet, there’s more to come. The same heat dome that canvassed the U.S. Pacific Northwest with all-time record-high temperatures has made its way into Alberta.  The AESO has established new June and summer peak-hour load highs, and may even set all-time records due to the trifecta of record heat, a demand recovery from COVID, and ongoing structural demand growth influences.  With the province’s wind sitting this event out, the net effect of these factors has propelled the Alberta Power Pool (APP) real-time price up to the province’s regulated max over a decent-sized block of hours. This past Monday afternoon, as temperatures in Calgary went flying past the 90˚F threshold, hourly power loads climbed to a peak ... » read more
Tuesday Jun 29, 2021   
The focus of the news over the past week has been the record temperatures in the Pacific Northwest. Portland hit 115 degrees on Sunday which was hotter than Phoenix and Las Vegas. The heat dome looks to be breaking as of this morning but the above normal bias is in place until further notice. Over on the East Coast they are experiencing their own heat wave that started this weekend when temperatures throughout the Mid Atlantic posted 1-5 degrees over forecast with daytime highs pushing into the low 90's. With high humidity the heat index moved into the mid 90's. The bigger issue was that overnight lows never got below 65 degrees forcing cooling demand to run around the clock.  Figure 1 | Philadelphia High/Low Temperatures for May-June 2021  The warmer temperatures over the ... » read more
Monday Jun 28, 2021   
After several long emails from the Clash at the Border (OR and WA) soccer tournament's coordinator, Friday's matches were played with 30 minute halves and one water break.  Most matches were moved to grass fields given that the temperature were rising and the rubber particles that lie beneath the fake grass tend to make the material 3-7 degrees warmer depending on the time of day.  For those teams that did play on turf, the Friday night temperature of 94 degrees felt more like 102 degrees.  There was plenty of water and a slight wind so one could be convinced that the conditions were manageable going forward.  An email came out earlier on Friday stating that the tournament was cancelling the Saturday afternoon matches due to the heat conditions now exceeding 105 ... » read more
Friday Jun 25, 2021   
By Tim Belden Photo courtesy of Chris Taylor I went swimming last week. Against my will. In a river. In Idaho. The water was not nearly as cold as it could have been. And that has implications for electricity markets in the western US this summer. Let me explain … I took a raft trip down the main stem of Idaho’s Salmon River with six friends. The Salmon River, which is the longest un-dammed river in the continental United States, is a major tributary to the Snake River, slicing through the mountains and valleys of the River of No Return Wilderness. Access to the Salmon River is strictly controlled via a lottery system. It is one of the hardest permits to get. The “controlled season” (when you need to enter via the lottery) began on June 20th of this year. My ... » read more
Thursday Jun 24, 2021   
Electrical load growth has been on our minds a lot here at EnergyGPS. ERCOT, CAISO, and the Desert Southwest have all struggled to provide energy during extreme (but not unprecedented) weather events over the last 12 months. Some of these trying demand conditions have occurred even as states were in various stages of lockdown, which should have provided some load relief. As the pandemic continues to recede across the US, we are seeing some combination of masked demand growth from last year and fresh new demand hitting the grid. Even under more moderate weather conditions, we have been seeing loads come in higher this year compared to previous years at simillar temperatures.  So why is this happening one might ask?  There are many factors that are likely contributing to ... » read more
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