Federal Government uses UPLAN model to examine price volatility in ERCOT

LCG, October 11, 2022--The U.S. Energy Information Administration, or EIA, released its latest supplement to the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) in the Texas market, assessing various possible scenarios using LCG’s UPLAN NPM model, with a special focus on the effects on wholesale power prices and market conditions.

Read more

Michigan Governor Supports Reopening Palisades Nuclear Facility

LCG, September 16, 2022--The Governor of Michigan last week sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in support of Holtec International’s application for a federal grant under the Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) program to save the Palisades Nuclear Facility in Southwest Michigan. The federal grant could result in restarting the baseload, carbon-free, nuclear power plant.

Read more

Industry News

Purchasers of California Power Plants Profit Plenty

LCG, Dec. 18, 2000--When California's utilities were pressed to sell off their power plants there was no shortage of buyers and the companies were able to dispose of their generating assets at prices that in some cases were twice book value, or more.

The investment has turned out well for the six out-of-state energy companies has turned out well, judging by their third quarter earnings reports.

In the three months ended September 30, Reliant Energy Inc. of Houston reported a gain in net income of 37 percent. The company, which purchased five natural gas-fueled power plants from Southern California Edison Co., said about a third of its profits was produced by those plants. "It has proved a good acquisition for us," said Reliant's Richard Wheatley.

Dynegy Inc., also of Houston, participated in the purchase of four Southern California plants which now account for about a sixth of its generation in the U.S. in terms of megawatts but a lot more in terms of profit. Lynn Lednicky, a Dynegy senior vice president, pointed out there was a lot of risk in buying the plants.

"With a brand new market, there is a great deal of uncertainty," he said. "Some companieslike to be the first one in the door. There were clear indications there was going to be a great deal ofliquidity there."

As the simple economic equation of supply and demand has caught up with California, the out-of-state purchasers of the power plants are being seen as the root of the problem by politicians needing a scapegoat, and that bothers Lednicky.

"We are being vilified as the ones who are causing all of the problems in California," he said. "Rather than trying to deal with the volume of electricity in California, people are trying to attack the price end of the equation."

Tom Williams, director of public affairs for the western operations of Duke Energy Inc., said "We saw there was going to be a substantial need for power in California." Duke enjoyed a 74 percent increase in third quarter net income, much of the improvement due to performance of its California investment. "We have been very pleased with our returns," Williams said.

California politicians have been vocal in condemning the new power plant owners for "price gouging," but they are either ignorant of the law of supply and demand or are deliberately misleading their constituents in an effort to escape blame for high power prices in the state.

When every power plant in the state is running at full capacity, and when every river is flowing at its full springtime rate, there is available in the state a total of 44,300 megawatts of generation. In the autumn, when the rivers are just a trickle, that falls to about 32,000 megawatts.

Because of a robust high-tech economy that consumes huge amounts of electricity, the state needs more than 44,300 megawatts of power on a hot summer day. As has been seen in recent weeks, more than 33,000 megawatts are needed on a mild autumn day. There are simply not enough power plants in California.

Copyright © 2023 LCG Consulting. All rights reserved. Terms and Copyright
The Locational Marginal Price Model (LMP) Network Power Model
Day Ahead and Real Time Market Simulation
Day-ahead and real-time portfolio revenue optimization
Generator X
Generation and Transmission Planning and Optimization
The Gas Procurement and Competitive Analysis System
Database of Plants, Loads, Assets, Transmission...
Annual summary of prices, congestion and important events in ERCOT
CAISO CRR Auctions
Monthly Price and Congestion Forecasting Service