LCG Publishes 2024 Annual Outlook for Texas Electricity Market (ERCOT)

LCG, October 10, 2023 – LCG Consulting (LCG) has released its annual outlook of the ERCOT wholesale electricity market for 2024, based on the most likely weather, market, transmission, and generator conditions.

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LCG Publishes 2024 Annual Outlook for Texas Electricity Market (ERCOT)

LCG, October 10, 2023 – LCG Consulting (LCG) has released its annual outlook of the ERCOT wholesale electricity market for 2024, based on the most likely weather, market, transmission, and generator conditions.

Read more

Industry News

California Capsule: ISO Claims $5.5 Billion Power Overcharges

LCG, March 22, 2001The California Independent System Operator yesterday accused five independent power producers and 16 power importers of overcharging for wholesale electricity by $5.5 billion since last May and says it wants the money back.

The ISO plans to tell the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today that a study of pricing data confirms allegations that the power producers manipulated the wholesale market in order to drive up prices. It should be noted that the ISO made the allegations first and then conducted its own study to support them.

The ISO claims the companies kept power supplies off the market by bidding at unrealistically high prices, even though money was to be made selling electricity at lower prices. On other occasions, the agency alleges, the companies failed to offer available generation.

FERC recently ordered some of the power producers to return a total of $134.8 million for overcharges or show why the prices were justified, but the ISO said that amount was "minimal." Anjali Sheffrin, the ISO director of market analysis who conducted the "study," said "As far as I'm concerned, it's been too little, too late."

Cal-ISO's filing with FERC will spell out the specific overcharges claimed to have been made by each company, Sheffrin said, but the companies will be identified by a code which can be read only by FERC. ISO lawyers will determine how much information about the companies the public can be trusted with, she added.

The lights stayed on in California yesterday, but there was other news.

  • In San Jose, the self-styled "capital" of Silicon Valley, city officials are set to approve what will be the world's largest Internet server farm. The $1.2 billion project would represent an electricity load of 180 megawatts. The same city officials are fighting tooth and nail to prevent Calpine Corp., a San Jose-based company, from building a 600 megawatt power plant in a rural area on the outskirts of town.

  • State Controller Kathleen Connell yesterday ordered an audit of the power purchases by the California Department of Water and Power and moved to block plans by Gov. Gray Davis to transfer funds into a reserve account that would be used to buy electricity. The healthy state economy last year resulted in a revenue surplus that stood at $8.5 billion in January money collected from the state's workers and not needed to operate the government. Because of the water agency's power purchases, there is only $3.2 billion of that surplus left, according to Connell. "We started this year with a generous budget surplus," Connell said in an announcement that she would block the funds transfer. "The energy crisis has taken much of that away, and this transfer on top of the electricity purchases, would put the fund at risk."

  • U.S. District Court Judge Frank Damrell once more extended his restraining order that requires Reliant Energy Inc., Dynegy Inc., AES Corp. and The Williams Cos. Inc. to sell power to Cal-ISO. All but Reliant signed an agreement with Damrell voluntarily agreeing to continue to dispatch power to the ISO pending a FERC review of the issue. Reliant said it would appeal Damrell's order in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal in San Francisco, possibly today.

  • Among the California power plants made unavailable by unplanned outages Unit 3 of Southern California Edison Co.'s San Onofre nuclear power plant. Had that 1,100 megawatt reactor been on-line Monday and Tuesday, rolling blackout would have been much less severe and might not have happened at all. An electrical fire in a turbine-generator on February 3, just as the unit was emerging from a refueling outage, caused the shutdown and damage is unlikely to be repaired before the end of May. The generator's 200-ton rotor had to be shipped to Richmond, Va., for repairs and won't be back until mid-April.

  • Allegheny Energy Inc. said this morning that its marketing and trading subsidiary had signed a 10-year, $4.5 billion contract to sell up to 1,000 megawatts of electricity to the California Department of Water and Power. Deliveries will begin immediately with 150 megawatts and will grow to 1,000 megawatts over the life of the contract. Allegheny Energy Global Markets will get the power from supply contracts it has arranged with independent generators in western states.

  • Qualifying Facilities: Our Two Bits Worth - Articles in the popular press have attributed much of the California power shortage in the last few days to the loss of generation by small, environment-friendly qualifying facilities which have been unable to operate because they have not been paid for power delivered to SoCal Ed and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Baloney! Most of the so-called qualifying facilities are substantial natural gas-fired power plants not much different from those owned by the utilities or the villainous out-of-state price gougers. These plants were built in response to the federal Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) which sought to diversify U.S. sources of energy in the wake of the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s. Since the early 1980s, and at ratepayer expense, these QFs have cut a fat hog selling power at above market prices.

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