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Friday Oct 2, 2020   
Anyone who trades commodities spends a lot of time and effort trying to divine what the price will be in the future. They try to understand the cost of each resource type (supply curve) and when each type of resource will become the marginal, price-setting unit as different demand levels shift the market-clearing supply resource. I mean no disrespect to the demand side of the equation, or flexible demand, or demand side management – but someone’s cost of production ultimately determines the price level – this is the supply curve. Electricity and natural gas traders obsess over this. Energy GPS advises a large swath of corporates, developers, utilities, investors, and asset ... » read more
Thursday Oct 1, 2020   
Every morning I take our black lab dog, Sonny, for a walk and I find myself still taking over the actual roads instead of the sidewalks as the morning commute traffic continues to be minimal.  This is all a fallout of the coronavirus situation at hand and does not look to improve in the foreseeable future as the case counts continue to be high and companies allow individuals to work from home.  As long as schools are virtual in the metro area, parents are busy getting the desk areas ready for another day of online classes and some home schooling projects.  If you happen to get into your car for a morning ride or some appointment, you might happen to see a few cars in the neighborhood.  If you trek out on a major highway, the on-ramp lights are still turning red and ... » read more
Wednesday Sep 30, 2020   
Little did Vince Lombardi know that his words 'what the h$%^'s going on out here?' were ring true decades later, but they are fitting to what we witnessed last night as well as what 2020 has delivered when it comes to a virus that is still quite active as well as Mother Nature delivering some heat in the West and colder temperatures in the East.  Let's start with the first Presidential Debate aired on television last night.  It was as if you were watching some reality television show on cable as the president himself continues to interrupt both the moderator and his opponnent Joe Biden.  In fact, this Newsletter Blog is later than usual as I found myself reading and/or listening to the comments made by political advisors associated to each television station.  Across ... » read more
Tuesday Sep 29, 2020   
This week the continent is going to make an abrupt switch from cooling to heating demand. A split flow pattern is going to keep above normal temperatures int the West while a cold front descends upon the Midcon and Midwest. Average temperatures throughout the Midcon and Midwest will fall from 70 down to 53 degrees. The last time we had any accumulation of heating load the world was in the beginnings of the current COVID pandemic. Economic activity had ground to a standstill as quarantine mandates were implemented. But now, some six month later the world is on the upswing. Schools are back in session. In some areas, employees are going back to the workplace and businesses are operating again so we will be watching how the overall demand correlates to the temperature bins and similar ... » read more
Monday Sep 28, 2020   
EnergyGPS recently examined the revenue streams available to CAISO batteries in our Battery Ecosystem article posted two weeks ago as part of our Newsletter Gold Package.  This past week, we have extended the insight of batteries in a special report called 'CAISO - Anatomy and habits of the battery fleet',  which details how we can infer the existing fleet’s participation in these revenue streams from their generation patterns.  Such a report is apart of our Newsletter Platinum Package and will be the first of many battery reports published by EnergyGPS as the market unfolds in the coming months/years. As we all know, there is a slew of large new batteries coming down the pipe in California, the first of which hit the grid last month. The 250MW/250MWh ... » read more
Friday Sep 25, 2020   
There has been a lot of attention (and rightfully so) on California and the Desert Southwest this summer.  EGPS has written extensively about the events of August 16th-18th when the Desert Southwest prices ripped amidst a heat wave blanketing the West, and CAISO was left scrambling for megawatts after two days of evening ramp blackouts within PGAE’s territory. The Pacific Northwest was left behind, as several factors led to the region effectively decoupling from the rest of the West.  A key factor at play in keeping the Midc bilateral prices inside the normal supply stack was the hydro system, where a healthy and late developing hydro year meant the megawatts were in good supply. Precipitation was healthy throughout the 2020 Water Year.  In addition, cooler ... » read more
Thursday Sep 24, 2020   
The volatility is real when it comes to the natural gas prompt month movement.  It all started post Labor Day and accelerated at the start of the week when it dropped from just over $2.00 to $1.83.  The cash basis markets followed suite as we saw prices down around the production cutoff point while other regions were shifitng down to levels that expanded the implied heat rates for natural gas-fired generation to take over market share in both MISO and PJM.   Figure 1 | Nymex Prompt Month Volatility The South Central was hit with Tropical Storm Beta along the Texas Gulf Coast where flooding was inevitable and with ERCOT net load down due to the lack of power demand and low wind, the natural gas was looking for a home.  Up in the Northeast, the grid was loose ... » read more
Wednesday Sep 23, 2020   
As we drill down into the the deeper market fundamentals tied to the auction clears in the CAISO market, the focus is usually on the flex ramp time perriod between HE16 and HE20.  These are the hours when the sun starts to set (solar profile shifts lower) and the power demand profile is still quite high as all the virtual workers are trying to finish up work, get dinner ready an turn on the AC units so they are comfortable for the rest of the evening.  It is a period of time when the Desert Southwest has to compete for megawatts under tight circumstances therefore creating a price shape in the CAISO day-ahead auction that has HE19/20 a premium to the middle of the day. Figure 1 | CAISO SP15 Day-Ahead Auction Result Breakdown - Day on Day Change (9/22 vs 9/21) The graph above ... » read more
Tuesday Sep 22, 2020   
Since the beginning of the summer injection season the total net pipeline flows from Canada into the United States has been posting near 5 BCF. This was.3 BCF below last year. Maintenance and construction on GTN and Westcoast Pipelines trimmed volume delivered into the Pacific Northwest. But since the beginning of September the total net pipeline volume has made a downshift to just 4.3 BCF. That is 1.5 BCF less than September 2019. There are a number of factors for the decline in volume but the foremost is the fact that downstream markets in the US just do not need the gas. Lower 48 gas markets especially in the Northeast and Midwest have too much gas at the moment. Cash markets are doing their best to price out imports. This will help avoind oversupply conditions for the next ... » read more
Monday Sep 21, 2020   
Fall is in the air across the northern portion of the country while the Gulf of Mexico/South Central region is looking at yet another hurricane to move onshore later today.  The constant movement of the jet stream across North America keeps each region on its toes as both power and natural gas balancing is still dealing with the pandemic fallout.  This includes students settling into their virtual classroom settings and watching sporting events that have no fans (or very little) in the seats.  The National Basketball Association (NBA) saw an amazing Game 2 of the Western Confernce Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets.  Without going into too much detail, Denver erased a double digit deficit in the final two minutes of the game to go up by 1 ... » read more
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