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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
Friday Aug 7, 2015   
This week all eyes turned to Texas as a substantial heatwave descended on the region.  In a previous newsletter we looked at the forecasts and called for this years peak ERCOT demand to occur on August 5th.  With RT demand hitting 68,459 MWs for HE 17, not only did demand set a new 2015 peak, but broke the all-time record set back in 2011. Figure 1| ERCOT Load and temperatures - Daily The record lasted precisely 24hrs as Aug 6th HE 17 load set a new peak load of 68,921 MW, eclipsing the short lived record by over 400 MWs. » read more
Thursday Aug 6, 2015   
With the Desert Southwest following in Texas's footsteps (HOT!!!) I thought it would be good to take a look at how it impacted the Pacific Northwest's supply picture on Tuesday.  Let's first take a look at how hot it really is in Arizona and Nevada. Phoenix has been staring at highs in the 110-112 degree range while Las Vegas is in the 108-109 degree range.  Such heat has prompted the middle of the day load to increase to the highest levels we have seen this summer.  Adding a little fuel to the fire, some units that have been producing MWs are ... » read more
Wednesday Aug 5, 2015   
Demand is falling across the United States this week with total power demand foretasted to fall around 50 GWs between Monday and Friday.  Texas, however, did not get the memo with temperatures in Dallas expected to average 99 degrees for the 10th with highs around 105 degrees.                                                                             ... » read more
Tuesday Aug 4, 2015   
Remember the days when weather got warm and the middle of the day peak demand increased to where the super peak prices became a premium and the region actually priced itself to keep MW's at home.  Sure sounds like the Pacific Northwest and the Midc trading hub in early July, but it is not.  It is this region called the Desert Southwest, which has a trading hub called Palo Verde.  Yesterday, it traded at a premium to Southern California, which does not happen too often these days as the region seems to be well supplied and with the economic down ... » read more
Monday Aug 3, 2015   
With the NFL starting training camp last week, all the players had to be relieved that the temperatures across the country started to cool.  I am sure leading up to the first practice, the players, coaches and training staff were monitoring the weather forecasts hoping for some sort of reversal.  As of last week, Friday, they started to get it as the EnergyGPS peak demand sample went from 537 GW to 514.6 GW.  By the weekend (which was the first day of pads for some), the peak demand tumbled to 470 GW. Figure 1 | North American Peak Demand - EnergyGPS ... » read more
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
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