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Thursday Oct 10, 2019   
The recent weather extremes over the last couple weeks have finally given way to moderate weather. In the Northeast, temperatures have shifted into a comfortable range calling few degree days onto the board. With weather across the country shifting into the mild shoulder season, demand for generation has declined. Facilities have begun dropping offline during this period of low demand in order to perform much needed maintenance in order to prepare for the upcoming winter. The PJM outage report exemplifies the increase over the autumn shoulder season. We can see that generation outages started picking up after the start of September and continued to grow moving deeper into the shoulder season. Outages picked up throughout October, but it appears that peak outages have not yet made their ... » read more
Wednesday Oct 9, 2019   
As we start to move into the middle third of October, the weather starts to feel a little brisk in the mornings as the overnight lows are dropping across the country.  In the power markets, this is usually the time of year when planned maintenance occurs for both the power plants and transmission lines that have been in play most of the summer.  The most noteable planned outage sector is the nuclear fleet as they have to refuel and do their mandatory checks and balances per the Nuclear Regulatory Commission protocals/standards. Figure 1 | Nuclear Daily Outage Volume - Year on Year Comparison In the West, we see the impact to such a fleet in both Northern California and the Desert Southwest has a Diablo Canyon and a Palo Verde unit offline at this time.  Over in ERCOT, a ... » read more
Tuesday Oct 8, 2019   
Summer came to an abrupt end in the Northeast and Midwest this weekend when daytime highs made one of the most drastic changes we have ever seen. After bumping along for most of the summer in the low 90's, the temperature highs fell off to the low 70's. No smooth transition to fall weather was seen. It was just a straight drop of 20 degrees. This had a big influence on the power burns. Combined PJM, New England and New York net load fell from 132 to 90 GWa overnight and noting the advantage gas generation had in the power dispatch almost all the change came down to a drop off in cooling related gas demand.    Figure 1 | Pittsburgh Highs, Lows and Forecast Temperatures (F) The drop off in power burns created excess volume in the balancing which had to be directed to storage. » read more
Monday Oct 7, 2019   
Over the past few days, the EnergyGPS Newsletter product has been putting content tied to both the daily blog and the Gold/Platinum packages.  The topic of the former was tied Pacific Northwest Regional Resource Adequency while the latter focused on the Pacific Northwest Sumas gas market, the regional supply/demand Sandboxes while the upcoming article will focus on looming capacity Shortfall in the Pacific Northwest. Starting with The Sumas Story, the Platinum package specail report breaks down how the Pacific Northwest power and natural gas grid gets co-mingled quickly when circumstances tied rising rescom demand and limited transport capacity are presented with a power sector that needs the power plants on Northwest Pipe to generate the power.  We saw this occurr all of ... » read more
Friday Oct 4, 2019   
It has been almost a year to the day that the 36 inch Enbridge pipeline ruptured and sent a ball of fire into the air.  Since that time, there has been a lot of volatility at the Sumas gas hub where last March it all came to a head as the daily index shot up over $160 per mmbtu.  This past week, the regional supply/demand fundamentals on both the power and natural gas sides of the equation were such that the Sumas cash price needed to move up to make sure the molecules stayed on the pipe for the abnormally large rescom volumes and not go to some of the power plants on Northwest Pipe.   If you would like to know more about the content within the EnergyGPS Special Report titled 'The Sumas Story' click on the link provided.  Within the content page you can purchase ... » read more
Friday Oct 4, 2019   
It was a busy week for resource planners in the Pacific Northwest this week.  On Wednesday, the Northwest Power Pool (NWPP) held a day long symposium on resource adequacy in Portland Oregon.  Hundreds of people attended, including professionals from all sectors of the Pacific Norwest energy industry, elected officials, environmental representatives, and the media.  The Power Pool’s purpose for holding the symposium was to convey to a broad set of stakeholders the looming resource shortage that the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region faces and the need to create and implement a regional resource adequacy program.  Enthusiasm at the symposium was high but, given the multitude of balancing authorities in the PNW and the lack of any regulatory authority or law that ... » read more
Thursday Oct 3, 2019   
Despite the official start of autumn having already made its way onto the board, temperatures climbed throughout the weekend and into the start of this week with areas breaking into record highs. Summer struggled to give way to a new season with what appears to be the last bit of resistance before fall truly sets in. The heat spell drove less efficient generation onto the grid which resulted in rising heat rates across the region. Taking a look at PJM, we can see the market’s reaction to the recent heat wave. Figure 1 show thermal generation during real time (area) compared to heat rates for major hubs (lines). As the week started, over 15 GWa of thermal generation was brought online during on peak hours. While eastern heat rates held relatively low during as the warm air made its ... » read more
Wednesday Oct 2, 2019   
If you are a football fan and happen to be a Dallas fan, the words 'how bout them Cowboys' ring true back in the 90's when Jerry Jones and Jimmie Johnson were winning championships. In fact, the slogan itself has taken on a life of its own as it is now apart of the NFL's advertisement campaign as the Dallas Cowboys are a brand that the compassionate fans, Jerry Jones the owner and the NFL executives cannot live without as the team is striving to bring home another Vince Lombardi trophy and the NFL is in a race to keep market share with all its television network agreements and sponsors. Figure 1 | How Bout Them Cowboys Sticking with the state of Texas and the them of 'how bout them Cowboys', we have ERCOT and its daily day-ahead and real-time participants subconsciously murmering ... » read more
Tuesday Oct 1, 2019   
Canadian storage has been a feast or famine story for much of the past year. Alberta, which contains most of the country's storage capacity is under duress with only 256 BCF of in ground supply available for the winter heating season. That is 59% of the storage capacity of the province. On the other side of the country, the Dawn storage cavern has just reached full capacity of 156 BCF with another 30 days left in the injection season. That is the quickest they have been able to refill the cavern in recent times. The problem is how do they balance the delivery area with no available capacity to inject excess volumes. Figure 1 | Dawn Storage Inventory for 2015-2019 The hub will have to price at a discount to surrounding areas to back off pipeline transport flows. The first to go will be ... » read more
Monday Sep 30, 2019   
Over the past few years, the electricity grid has seen its supply stack change in a way that is making the daily activities in the physical market different than what is once was.  For example, when I started my career in the energy industry (late 90's), the supply stack was made up of a baseload nuclear fleet, coal units and a natural gas fleet that was used for load following.  In the West, we had the volatility around the hydro water year that made the region unique compared to others across the country.  The reserve markets were the traditional ones such as reg up, reg down and spin/non-spin and they were tied to load profile as well within the construct of a Balancing Authority (BA) or an Independent System Operator (ISO). Figure 1 | Old Traditional Power Grid In the ... » read more
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