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Wednesday Feb 3, 2021   
Last week presented this winter’s first legit cold snap and gave a glimpse of what we may expect later this week and most of next week with another, more intense cold spell expected to arrive.  In fact, next week could feature some of the coldest temperatures in two winters, bringing volatility back to the market.  Going around the horn and starting in the Northeast: up in New England, the cold spell lifted Algonquin Citygate cash price over $11, its highest levels since December 2019 in order to inspire regional gas plants to forgo consuming gas so that molecules can serve the res/comm sector’s need to generate heat.   New England power prices had to rise to more than $90 to make it economical to burn fuel oil for power generation.  With power that ... » read more
Tuesday Feb 2, 2021   
The natural gas market was turned on its head over the weekend when the weather forecast added 20 HDDs to the 6-10 day forecast. The week was already expected to be the coldest of winter but now if the weather holds it will turn out to be one of the coldest periods experienced over the past three years. February 8 is expected to be the coldest day of the coming stretch with an HDD total of 39. The highest HDD day over the past five winters was on January 1, 2018 when a 45 was recorded. The market has been waiting for this event for over a year. As noted in Figure 1, winter never arrived last year with only a handful of days above climatology. This year started warmer but now has one of the coldest weeks of the past ten years on deck.    Figure 1 | Daily HDD Totals for ... » read more
Monday Feb 1, 2021   
MeatLoaf is a band that continues to have their music play on Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora as well as certain Rock Music radio stations across the United States and other parts of the world.  One album that grab the attention of many was titled 'Bat out of Hell' which is the 1977 debut by the American rock singer and composer Jim Steinman.  Searching on Wikipedia, the story is told that the album was developed from a musical, Neverland, a futuristic rock version of Peter Pan, which Steinman wrote for a workshop in 1974.  The next two years were spend recording the album at various studios, including Bearsville Studios, Woodstock, NY and eventually released in 1977 by Cleveland International/Epic Records.  The album's musical style is influenced by Steinman's ... » read more
Friday Jan 29, 2021   
We've written extensively over the past several months about how the warm and mild winter has affected the natural gas and electricity markets across the country.  The weather has taken a turn this week in California, however, as precipitation has blanketed the state, with snowfall in the Sierra mountains, rain in the lower elevations, and even flash flood warnings in the southwest.  We also had some snowfall further North at EGPS headquarters earlier in the week, a relatively rare occurrence in Portland.  To help us all remember sunnier days in California, let’s turn our attention to CAISO, where solar generation has become an increasingly integral component of the grid over the last several years.  Solar capacity in CAISO reached almost 12 GW by the end of ... » read more
Thursday Jan 28, 2021   
Costco runs are a normal occurrence for many as the wholesale chain has figured out that we need two dozen lemons, twelve muffins, sixteen hamburger patties and a box of forty-eight individually bagged chips just in case anyone in the neighborhood gets hungry.  The two items that that fly off the shelf around Christmas time is the packages of AA and AAA Duracell batteries as somehow the marketing team stocking the shelves knows I need thirty-two of each type so they make their way into the cart.  Figure 1 | Costco Duracell Battery Packs - AAA As you pass through the checkout line, the bulk batteries make their way into the cart on the other side of the scanner and as you put all the purchases in the back end of your vehicle, the thought of what am I going to really do with ... » read more
Wednesday Jan 27, 2021   
The winter season across the Pacific Northwest and California has been almost obsolete as warmer weather was present in the month of November and December 2020.  As we turned the corner, the start of January 2021 was no different as the Pacific Northwest was looking at above normal temperatures to which pushed the precipitation to more rainfall than snowpack at the middle and lower elevation levels.  This presented the region with plenty of water on the Westside portion of the hydro system and as you can see in the figure below, it translated into more megawatts hitting the grid. Figure 1 | Westside Hydro Generation - Flat Daily Average The chart in Figure 1 is the daily flat average generation (megawatts) for the Westside region of the Pacific Northwest hydro system.  We ... » read more
Tuesday Jan 26, 2021   
California is seeing the coldest temperatures of the year today, which is a stark contrast to that of a week ago when the LA Basin was coming off record daytime highs from Burbank down to Orange County and inland to Palm Springs.  With the weather pattern came hurricane type winds that ripped through the hillsides, increased Southern California's output to 4.3 GWa across the heavy load for a couple of days.  The combination of the warmer weather and the big push from the renewable wind turbines put a stamp on how the winter season was shaping up through the middle part of January.  The bottom line was the heating demand levels were quite low while the power sector has been dealing with economic downturn along with the renewable solar penetration and outlier wind averages ... » read more
Monday Jan 25, 2021   
The first region to really feel the colder weather is Canada as the jet streams from the north dip down into North America.  This past weekend is no different as the period in question has been showing colder temperatures across British Columbia and Alberta for the past 10-15 days.  As a result, the power grid tightens up quickly as the hourly demand profile is hit with little wind generation, thus shifting the net loads through specific inflection points that warrant real-time prices to escalate towards the cap.   You do not have to look any further than Sunday night's evening ramp as the five minute ticks went from clearing $56 to ending HE 16 at $643.32.  Figure 1 | Alberta Real-Time Price Action This resulted in the hour ending (HE) 16 clearing $115 while the ... » read more
Friday Jan 22, 2021   
The beginning of a new year is always a great opportunity to reflect on the previous one, and renewable energy is no exception. With so many factors affected by the seasons—load, gas prices, solar irradiance, wind speed—it often requires a whole year to make observations about any given resource. EGPS examined 2020 price and generation data for a wide range of locations across the US in order to find the overall value in $/MWh of solar and wind in each location. In addition to every ISO, the Pacific Northwest[1] is also represented. The table below shows the gen-weighted real-time price and the shape value of the major renewable resource markets in the US. It’s sorted from lowest weighted LMP to highest. Figure 1 | Weighted Real-Time (RT) LMP by ... » read more
Thursday Jan 21, 2021   
The wind across the Lone Star state has taken it personally that solar started getting all the attention over the summer as the sun shined bright and the cumulative peak output jumped up to over 3.7 GW after ending the 2019 year around 1.8 GW.  The graph below illustrates just how the ERCOT cumulative wind generation has been on a tear over the past few months with the 2020 calendar year ending at 22.06 GW compared to the 19.2 GW number in 2019. Figure 1 | ERCOT Wind Generation - Monthly Breakout Looking at the 4th quarter of 2020, a couple of things stick out that are worth noting as they were discussed in our latest Platinum Package Monthly Report, titled 'Rising Star(s)'.  The first thing is how the overall monthly average, which is displayed in the bottom pane of ... » read more
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