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Friday Jul 31, 2015   
Over the past 4 years, California has had several key elements change when it comes to their supply/demand portfolio.  First, the load has yet to recover from the economic downturn in the summer of 2008.  Second, both Songs units were officially retired in June 2013 which meant that over 2,000 MW of base load energy was lost within the LA Basin.  Prior to that, the units were offline for safety reason therefore the CAISO had to implement emergency operations in the summer months as they revamped their transmission grid to allow for more renewables such ... » read more
Thursday Jul 30, 2015   
Northern California is experiencing another wave of heat as Sacramento's highs are in the triple digits and San Francisco is staring at highs in low/mid 90's just outside the bay.  This has translated into a higher load profile across PGAE's demand region. Figure 1 | PGAE's Hourly Load Profile As you can see in Figure 1, the load ramped up early in the week and peaked out yesterday with the heavy load coming in just over 17,000 MWa and a peak demand of 19,783 MW. Southern California's load shifted up as well but not nearly as much as PGAE's.  For today, the ... » read more
Wednesday Jul 29, 2015   
The West Coast is preparing for another heat wave as the latest forecast is showing the high temperature in Sacramento remaining above 100 degrees for the rest of the week. The previous newsletter addressed the possible impacts of load breaking 45 GWs on Friday. Before we dive to far into the analysis, it should be noted that the most recent CAISO forecast shifted load down slightly the rest of the week with Thursday now set to become this year's peak demand as it is showing 44.9 GWs. Figure 1| CAISO Load Forecast - Peak Hour     In order to ... » read more
Tuesday Jul 28, 2015   
The latest weather runs are out and load in Cali is set to make a serious run this week.  CAISO load forecasts are now showing peak hour at 45 GW for Friday, as high temperatures in Sacramento hit 108 tomorrow and Thursday.  Down in Southern California, Burbank is in the low 90's while further inland triple digits are also in the forecast.  As you can see in Figure 1, both PGAE and SCE's load profile shift up quite a bit over the next three days. Figure 1| CAISO Load Forecast - Peak Hour The last time load broke the 45 gig mark was the first ... » read more
Monday Jul 27, 2015   
Portland received some much need rainfall this weekend, cooling the pavement and replenishing the died lawns.  While the weather put a downer on weekend activities it was a pleasant reminder of the differences between the PNW and California. As we are all aware, California is in the midst of a multi year drought and the conditions are not expected to improve through August.  With the drought like conditions present over the past 3-4 years, the available hydro storage within the state is suffering as a result.  Looking at historical ... » read more
Friday Jul 24, 2015   
When the EIA number came out yesterday, the majority of people saw it as a 61 BCF delta increase day on day.  Expectations in the market ranged between 65 - 78 BCF with the heavy hitters around 68 BCF. Figure 1 | EIA Storage Table Such a result pushed the prompt month contract up the $2.95 mark quickly as the market took it as bullish.  It was realized that the implied flows (+68) did not match the delta week on week change (+61).   If you look closely at this week's regional breakout, there is a 'C' next to the East number for this week. » read more
Thursday Jul 23, 2015   
The highly anticipated El Nino season and its promise of a cool temperatures across the east/south has yet to materialize as warm temperatures drove up net load across North America on Monday.  Demand hovered around 500 gigs on Sunday and Tuesday with the highest load of the season peaking coming in at 528.9 GW on the 20th. Figure 1 | North American load by ISO - Daily Peak You can see in Figure 1, most of the incremental demand is showing up in PJM, MISO and Texas.  The West has cooled off some over the course of the week with the Pacific ... » read more
Wednesday Jul 22, 2015   
What a difference a few days makes in the Great Northwest!!! Last night you could hear the birds chirping and the trees swaying in the wind and by the time you went to bed the windows were open and the fresh air abound throughout the house.  It was like you were camping in your own house. From a grid perspective, the load profile shifted down quite a bit yesterday as the high temperatures around Portland were in the low 80's.  This is roughly 20 degrees cooler than the high temperatures we saw over the weekend where some areas were close to triple ... » read more
Tuesday Jul 21, 2015   
In a previous newsletter we called attention to the increased SP 15 HRs for the summer or 2015 compared to last year. The analysis identified weak imports as a primary driver of the strong clears.  To recap: Figure 1 breaks down heavy load average load by 2,000 MW bins (x-axis) and plots out the overall SP15 heat rates (y-axis).  The individual data points and trend-lines are color coordinated by year. With the blue line (2015) well above the orange line (2014) at all load levels, we can see there has been a fundamental increase in SP heat rates for ... » read more
Monday Jul 20, 2015   
 Nuclear Power Plants run on a relatively predictable refueling cycle with every unit required to refuel between every 18 and 24 months.  These refueling cycles typical fall during the spring or the fall, also known as outage season. Since the unit must come completely offline for an extended period of time, operators schedule refueling cycles during weak power demand months to limit revenue loss.  However all those outages add up and can have a significant effect on the supply stack.  Typically natural gas generation ramps ... » read more
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