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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
Friday Jul 17, 2015   
After some cool temperatures and even some rain, Portland prepares for another heat wave with highs possibly hitting triple digits over the weekend.  The majority of the heat is expected along the Cascades as the inland cities are looking at highs in the upper 80's/low 90's.  The warmer weather will be short lived as the local forecasters are calling for the highs to drop back down into the upper 70's/low 80's in both Portland and Seattle by Tuesday. Figure 1 | Portland Temperatures - Actual/Forecast Once this heat spell passes we will be within ... » read more
Thursday Jul 16, 2015   
SP15 heat rates for the HL average are up a full point for June and July compared to last year as the former averaged around a 10 heat rate and the later so far is sitting around an 11.0. Prior to these two months, the January through May HRs saw little variance in the heat rates as 2015 was up by 0.06 of a point across the months. So what has changed you ask?  Two things come to mind, the first being loads tend to increase as we get closer to summer.  This year saw an above average June when it came to loads while July has been off and on depending on the ... » read more
Wednesday Jul 15, 2015   
Towards the end of last week, we reported (in an EnergyGPS Natural Gas Flash Report) that there was an issue with the NOVA Clearwater compressor.  Such an issue was going to have an impact on the flow of gas out of Canada and into the Western part of the country starting on the 13th and lasting as long as it takes to diagnose the issue and get it resolved.  This led to the gas markets jumping up quite a bit over the past two days as cash SoCal border has shifted up to $3.055, which puts it $0.10 over Henry Hub cash.   Figure 1 | SoCal Border/Henry Hub ... » read more
Tuesday Jul 14, 2015   
Nymex gas enjoyed run yesterday with prompt month trading up nearly 10 Cents on the day (going from $2.766 to $2.866). So what caused such a jump as we head into the middle portion of July?  From the supply side, production is down about 1 BCF compared to last week.  On the demand side, power burns continue to be strong given the load profiles across the East and Texas are increasing in the short term.  From a weather perspective, the forecasts are showing an increase in the CDD's for the 1-15 day weather runs, especially in the East region. » read more
Monday Jul 13, 2015   
As cool temperatures move across the West we were offered a short reprieve from strong power prices as the system settles back into a “typical” range with Mid C clearing below the CAISO markets for the weekend.  Prior to this, the Pacific Northwest (PNW) struggled to balance the system therefore priced itself over the rest of the West.  There were a couple of times Midc traded to levels well above SP15/NP15 that MW were exported out of the state of CA and into the PNW.  Below are the average temperatures in Portland compared to the ... » read more
Friday Jul 10, 2015   
With the weather in California plummeting all week m(13,000 MW off the high of last week) and the PNW finally cooling off today, the power demand across the entire West continues to shift down to levels not seen since the middle part of May. Figure 1 | CAISO Peak Demand - Forecast vs Actual The Pacific Northwest's supply demand shift (due to less load and higher wind output) actually pushed the bilateral Midc heavy load index $5.16 with SP15 coming in at $32.00 even while Midc settled $26.84.  Using Malin, this was still a 10.78 implied heat rate.  Down in ... » read more
Thursday Jul 9, 2015   
Our Loyal readers will recall a recent newsletter discussing the current trend with power burns and expectations for the rest of the year.  To recap: Power burns have been remarkably strong for 2015 when compared to the past two years.  The increase started in early February and continued through May.  June values were particularly strong with the month averaging 29 BCF a day, up nearly 5 BCF from 2014 and 2013.  Figure 1 | US Nat. Gas Power Burns – 7 Day Average From a weather standpoint, the month of June saw waves of weather ... » read more
Wednesday Jul 8, 2015   
Coming off a Pacific Northwest (PNW) winter that gave us hints of a high ridge system locking into the region, the river system had its ups and downs as the lower elevation snowpack saw its first melt in February and never really replenished itself heading into Q2.  The higher elevation snowpack looked to be pretty healthy, which was going to be counted on to help refill Grand Coulee dam (GCL) after the drum gate work was completed by mid-March.  This plan was coming together as system operators were refilling GCL at a clip of 1.5 ft/day with the help of the ... » read more
Tuesday Jul 7, 2015   
A collective sigh of relief is being heard across California this week as temperatures fall.  Sacramento and Burbank are not expected to get above 90 while San Diego will enjoy a comfortable range with highs in the 70s.  As would be expected, the load forecasts/actuals are following the temps downward expected loads to be at their lowest level since the first week in June.    Figure 1 | CAISO Dashboard This is a big difference compared to where we were sitting just a week ago in CAISO land, along with the rest of the West.  Everyone ... » read more
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