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Thursday Aug 15, 2019   
Many of my friends are seeing their college bound kids off over the next couple of weeks which is a signal that the summer days are almost over and Fall is right around the corner.  In the Pacific Northwest, if you have not been paying much attention, the summer has blown by without that many hot days as the early June high of 95 degrees in Portland seems to be the high water mark.  As a result, the grid has not really been tested in a way that would warrant higher power prices at the Midc. Figure 1 | Portland Daytime High/Low Temperatures - Actual and Forecast in fact, over the past two days, the bilateral Midc prices shot up into the mid $30 range across the heavy load as wind generation died down and the inner-eastside saw their temperatures warm up to a point that more ... » read more
Wednesday Aug 14, 2019   
It has been almost two weeks since I spent a couple of days at the Infocast “Extracting Value from Renewables” conference in La Jolla. This was the maiden voyage for this conference which turned out to be a blessing. Attendance was relatively small – about 100 people – but the quality of the content and discussions was high. The speakers were excellent and the small room enabled a lot of really useful and interesting Q&A sessions. Unlike many conferences where the action is the frenzied networking which happens in the halls outside the conference room, the quality of the speakers and exchanges kept people in the room. I stayed in the room almost the entire time. Between the conference and the sidebar conversations over the few days, one theme emerged. PPA ... » read more
Tuesday Aug 13, 2019   
Over the past two years we have seen a dramatic shift in the natural gas import volume from Canada. The increase of Bakken and Marcellus/Utica natural gas volumes has displaced the need for pipeline volumes from the north. Canada has also seen a big surge in gas demand as the electric dispatch moves away from coal generation to combined cycle gas. This trend is not going to change in the long term but in the next few weeks we could see a big shift in the net import volume to the United States. Changes to pipeline outages in new England as well as British Columbia will shift the net flow back over the border and could very well erase the .7 BCF deficit to last year's total.  In New England, the main natural gas artery, Algonquin Pipeline is initiating a major outage that will ... » read more
Monday Aug 12, 2019   
The last couple of articles sent out via the EnergyGPS Newsletter packages were tied to how the weather pattern this summer has not materialized to widespread heat across North America while certain regions tied to both weather and renewables have seen their net load move up in recent weeks as Mother Nature sprinkles sunshine on the Golden State (California) and Lone Star State (Texas).  Both situations have an impact on the overall marginal megawatt via the specific regional supply stack while gas seems to be unfazed.  The combination of the two creates a dynamic in the market where the implied heat rates widen to make sure that all of the natural gas power plants are in the money and up and running. Looking at the Gold Package weekly Newsletter Article titled, Partly Cloudy ... » read more
Friday Aug 9, 2019   
Figure 1 | If You Don't Procure Capacity You Won't Have Any To Call On   CAISO, in its  July 22, 2019 filing in the CPUC’s integrated resource planning proceeding (R.16-02-007) makes statements that are, at one level, troubling and, at another, worthy of Captain Obvious (Figure 1): "The CAISO’s analysis shows a potential gap of up to 2,000 MW beginning in summer of 2021 and increasing to 2,500 MW in 2022.  Based on its analysis and operational experience, the CAISO urges the Commission to focus immediately on developing a comprehensive plan for addressing near-term reliability needs through 2022.  This plan should prioritize procurement of existing and new resources to be online as soon as possible and, as a backstop, facilitate extending the [SWRCB] ... » read more
Thursday Aug 8, 2019   
The hottest portion of summer is currently upon us which has long been known as the dog days of summer. The phrase originated from Greek and Roman astrology with the rising of the star system Sirius or what was also known as the “dog star”. The rising of the star was associated with heat, sudden thunderstorms, fever, and lethargy. While not a difficult gamble to make, the old mythology did get the a couple parts of this right as it has been no picnic for the last few weeks. Portland has reached over the 90 degree level several days making it the perfect time to spend by the pool. The sudden thunderstorms appear to have been dead on as well. Taking a look at the Northeast, the region has been continually pummeled by flash floods. While this created dangerous conditions for ... » read more
Wednesday Aug 7, 2019   
Over the years we have detailed the growth of the renewable sector across the entire country with specifics tied to California as the state transitioned from harvesting the wind to tapping into Mother Nature's rays as their solar growth is the pioneer when compared to anyone else out there.  When you combine both the utility-scaled projects with behind the meter contraptions, you are looking at anywhere from 18 to 19.5 GW of generation when both are at their respective peak output.  That is quite impression when you think about it as harvesting nature's sunshine makes a lot of sense in so many ways.  But like anything else, the good always comes with some obstacles as the grid developed years prior was in need of a makeover as it takes special assets to help balance the ... » read more
Tuesday Aug 6, 2019   
Coming into this injection season there was on e region that stood out as having the most challenging deficit to overcome. The Rockies, because of the many years of stagnant production was not positioned to make any headway on the injection activities. It was also noted that the Pacific Northwest would also need to draw significantly more volume from the region in order to make up for the import issues on Westcoast Pipeline. But all that changes this spring when production volumes made a big recovery particularly on the Colorado Interstate system. By the last week of July the 26 BCF deficit from the first of April had turned into a 7 BCF surplus.  Figure 1 | EIA Mountain Region Storage Inventory for 2015 - 2019 Starting in early spring, CIG had shown big year on year increases ... » read more
Monday Aug 5, 2019   
Now that we have our first full week of August to look forward to, we thought it would be a good time to take a pulse on the natural gas supply/demand picture.  The latest EnergyGPS Newsletter Article published ('Summer Chill') over the weekend detailed how the weather patterns over the past few weeks have impacted the overall demand on the grid and its impact on the forward looking market when it comes to price. Other factors that also play into the weather mindset are components like production, power burns, lng and rescom come the winter season.  Looking at the production, the numbers are solid across the board as the latest week or so has seen the daily average jump up beyond 91 BCF/d.  This is quite impressive when you put it into context of where we were last year at ... » read more
Friday Aug 2, 2019   
EnergyGPS has previously discussed the record low Waha prices that plagued the West Texas this past spring, with prices reaching as low as negative $-6/MMBtu towards the end of March. As a refresher, negative prices mean that suppliers were paying buyers to take gas off their hands (a marked reversal of the usual order of business). The following figure shows the daily cash price for Waha since the beginning of the year: Figure 1 | Daily Waha Cash Price We also discussed, if gas prices are negative, then it makes sense for natural gas generators to offer negative as well. After all the gas generators are being paid to purchase the gas and thus should be willing to pay to generate electricity as well, if they’re paying less to generate than they are receiving from the grid operator. » read more
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