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Thursday Dec 21, 2023   
The CAISO battery fleet has been dealing with symptoms tied to lower revenue, especially the past couple of weeks as natural gas continues to soften, a Diablo Canyon nuclear unit went offline for some unplanned maintenance and now the lack of solar generation due to cloud cover and a precipitation pattern that is bringing rain to Southern California. Figure 1 | CAISO Battery Fleet Breakdown for December 12th – 18th – Hourly  The chart in the figure above illustrates the CAISO battery charge (blue shaded area) and the discharge (orange shaded area) volume for the past eight days.  The black line represents that of SP15’s real-time five-minute price settles on a $/MWh basis.  The sharp spike in the actual price back on December 12th came during the morning ... » read more
Wednesday Dec 20, 2023   
With 2024 just around the corner, we are quickly approaching the first anniversary of the Washington Cap and Invest Program. We’ve been covering the developments every step of the way, including most recently in the market flash  ‘Auction #4 Results’. Earlier this month, we also released a new monthly dashboard for those interested in keeping track of conditions in the Pacific Northwest. The WA Carbon Dashboard includes the following figures, which display year-on-year comparisons of load, net load, and hydro generation in the Pacific Northwest. The thicker red line represents the current year while the teal and orange lines represent 2022 and 2021 values. Each figure also displays a thick gray line which takes the average monthly values for the years 2015 to 2019. » read more
Tuesday Dec 19, 2023   
The Pacific Northwest is getting another round of precipitation along the I-5 corridor while the temperatures are lingering on the side of colder overnight temperatures and moderate day-time highs.  This combination led to the Mid-C trading hub settling below that of both hubs in California (NP15 and SP15) in the bilateral market for today. Figure 1 | Pacific Northwest Hydro Generation – Next 7 Days The graph in the figure above displays the next seven days of hydro generation (red-dotted line) and compares it to the five-year band (gray shaded area) and where things stood last year leading into the holiday season.  The 2023 forecast is below that of last year but is well above the 9.5 GW average we were looking at just a few weeks ago. There are a couple of reasons tied ... » read more
Monday Dec 18, 2023   
Several families travel over the holidays, some to see immediate family while others take it upon themselves to enjoy some sort of family vacation to a destination that ranges depending on the age of the children.  For example, the families with younger children might opt for something tied to Disney or an amusement park in the warmer weather climates while the older children might like to lay around a pool while looking at the ocean water, which then takes you to the southern portion of the Lower 48, Mexico, or island life.  Figure 1 | Vacation Over the Holidays The energy sector requires 24-hour guidance to the balancing act so that means that for some, there is no trip to one of the destination described in the opening paragraph but that does not mean the excitement will not ... » read more
Friday Dec 15, 2023   
For good reason, load growth is a hot topic these days as decades of limited growth in electricity sector is giving way massive new loads hitting the grid all over the United States. In this week's EnergyGPS Burrito publication (sample Burrito), we discussed this topic in the Phunk Salsa section that is dedicated to our staff hitting on key topics within the energy sector.  If you would like to subscribe to such content, the EnergyGPS eCommerce platform allows one to sign up on an monthly or annual basis.  For multiple licenses within your company, please click here as the options are similar to the load growth trajectory stated. Now back to the topic at hand, it is tricky to figure out exactly what is going on and why. A new report published this week by Grid Strategies ... » read more
Thursday Dec 14, 2023   
This past summer, ERCOT experienced some of the most extreme scarcity and high prices in its history—certainly since Winter Storm Uri. There were no blackouts, but the overall tightness on the grid was evident nearly every day during August (as well as many in July and September). The factors underlying the tightness are complex and varied, but one in particular stands out: the increase in load this summer compared to last, driven partly by the heat, and partly by long-term, underlying load growth. In our latest Newsletter Special Report, “Year-on-Year Changes in ERCOT Demand”, we take a deep dive into the changes in ERCOT demand, as well as some of the key drivers involved. Not only was load overall higher than past years, but net load was higher as well. This is ... » read more
Wednesday Dec 13, 2023   
‘Tis the season for carolers, presents under the tree, and jolly old Saint Nick, but not for batteries attempting to capture real-time arbitrage. As we move deeper toward the end of Q4 and closer to Q1 2024, we’re seeing a familiar pattern of the CAISO battery fleet missing morning price peaks and missing charging opportunities at the lowest prices of the day. The figure below is featured in our Daily CAISO Battery Dashboard. The shaded orange represents net discharging for the fleet while blue represents net charging with SP15 real-time prices overlaid as a black line. Look at December 11th, the last day displayed. The morning saw a big price spike up to $140/MWh, but battery dispatch came in much lower at this time interval than at much lower prices in the evening. » read more
Tuesday Dec 12, 2023   
The rumbling and tumbling noise usually can be heard coming from the laundry room dryer as wet clothes or bed sheets get all lumped together to form a ball that creates an imbalance within the spinning machine.  Once has to usually go over and stop the cycle so that the door can open, and the unbundling process can take place before restarting the machine. Figure 1 | Rumble, Tumble, Fumble If you wanted the Monday night National Football League (NFL) Packers vs. Giants match-up, the dryer noise was offset by the simple moans and groans of the faithful fans when their team decided they were going to do everything in their power not to keep the ball as the fumble seemed to be a mainstay.  First, it was the Packer quarterback getting stripped on routine play but afterwards things ... » read more
Monday Dec 11, 2023   
The West natural gas market has done everything in its power to be ready for the 2024 winter months as the previous year was one for the ages. This meant that the CPUC ok an additional 27 BCF of capacity to Aliso Canyon while PGAE made sure their caverns were at a robust level as November rolled around.  Fast forward to the middle of December 2023 and things look to be in good shape as the natural gas molecules are plentiful given the transport capacity is holding near the nameplate numbers not seen for a couple of years. Figure 1 | Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Levels – Daily The graph above illustrates the Aliso Canyon storage levels since August 2021 (blue line) through the current period (red line).  The two step levels, November 2021, and September through ... » read more
Friday Dec 8, 2023   
Over the years, California has been front and center in the discussions tied to renewable penetration as their portfolio standard was the first of its kind in the Lower 48.  Since the inception of the standard, the CAISO grid has seen all technologies come into play starting with wind then progressing to that of solar (both behind the meter and utility-scaled).  Realizing that harvesting the sun's rays was beneficial, there comes a point that a new technology was needed on the hours that held the highest power demand and a darkness that eliminated the solar generation.  The technology is no other than utility-scaled batteries being placed on the grid and eventually being an active part of the real-time price discussion.  While these conversations are taking place ... » read more
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