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: 'Gouging' Estimate may be WAY Off

LCG, June 22, 2001That $9 billion that California Gov. Gray Davis contends "the biggest snakes on the planet earth" have overcharged the state for power is based on a study by the California independent System Operator, and even Cal-ISO officials concede the study could have significant flaws.

The $9 billion figure was used by Davis in his testimony Wednesday before a U.S. Senate committee earlier this week when he urged lawmakers to put pressure on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to force alleged pirates and price gougers to "give us back the money that was wrongly taken from us."

Charles Robinson, vice president of Cal-ISO, conceded that the figure is based on shaky calculations and the numbers are being reworked. He said he "had no idea" how much the reworking might change the figures.

Robinson said he'd stand by the figures for now, but internal Cal-ISO documents warn that some of the assumption used to quantify the alleged price gouging could be far wide of the mark and caution against using the study as a basis for making accusations of overcharging which is exactly what Davis did during his testimony Wednesday.

When told that the Cal-ISO study showed Duke Energy Corp. overcharged by $805 million, spokesman Tom Williams said the amount was more than his company's entire energy earnings for North America.

"It doesn't add up. It doesn't come close to adding up," Williams said. "What [Cal-ISO] has done is highly irresponsible math."

Richard Wheatley, a spokesman for Reliant Energy Inc., which was accused of ripping the state off to the tune of $750 million, said "There's a lot of misinformation out there," and a spokesman for Mirant Corp., alleged by Cal-ISO to have picked California's pocket for $754 million, said "We haven 't overcharged. We haven't manipulated. We haven't withheld."

Joe Ronan, vice president for government and regulatory relations with Calpine Corp., said the $236 million of overcharges attributed to his company "doesn't bear any relation to reality." He added "Anybody can throw out any number, it's like McCarthyism," and asked "Where is the evidence?"

Enron's Skilling Says Regulators
To Blame for State's Energy Mess
As Enron Corp. President Jeffrey Skilling prepared to address the august Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco yesterday, he was hit in the face with a gooey cream pie, which is typical of clear thought in Frisco these days. Skilling didn't let it bother him.

"I'd like to recognize the emotions," Skilling said, wiping a bit of whipped cream from his ear. "People in California are angry, and they should be."

Skilling then told his audience why it should be angry angry for soaring energy costs, rolling blackouts and bankruptcy of a fine old utility and he told it who it should be angry with.

"What happened in California is certainly not the consumers' fault," Skilling said, pointing his finger at officials of the state's regulatory commissions. "The irony of this is the regulators are now the people California is turning to fix the problem."

Skilling pointed out ways in which the 1996 deregulation scheme created by the state legislature which had plenty of help from the Public Utility Commission was doomed from the start, because it forced utilities to divest themselves of their power plants and buy almost all of their power through the California Power Exchange, which turned into a spot market.

"Power consumers in the state of California were thrown totally, totally at the mercy of that spotmarket," Skilling said. "It was done to make the regulators' job easier."

Skilling pointed out that the state's energy problems were temporary, saying the combination of new generating capacity, a more rational regulatory framework, and consumer conservation would bring down prices.

"This one is easy to fix, and it will be fixed," Skilling said. "You'll get supply, you'll get reduction indemand, and prices will collapse."

Former Plant Employees Say Duke Withheld Power
Three former San Diego Gas & Electric Co. employees who worked at a power plant purchased by Duke Energy Corp. said yesterday that Duke withheld power supply, sabotaged working parts or otherwise took actions that they believe drove up the price of electricity.

It should be noted that the three are also former Duke employees.

State officials said the whistle-blowers' testimony at a Senate hearing today could damage the generator's contention that it produced as much power as it could to help the state meet its burgeoning demand.

The Senate market manipulation committee, chaired by Democrat state Sen. Joe Dunn of Santa Ana, will have a little, but not much, to go on.

  • Jimmy Olkjer, a former assistant control room operator at Duke's South Bay plant in San Diego, said "Rather than creating more power, they were creating less. I think there was manipulation of the market."

  • Former mechanic Glenn Johnson said he saw generation units taken "down for economics."

  • Ed Edwards, also a mechanic, said he was ordered "to disperse of perfectly good parts that were used to make repairs of systems and components."

Duke said only that its "California employees have established a record of excellence in California power plant operations, producing 50-percent more electricity in 2000 than in 1999. Allegations concerning Duke Energy's operations in the state are baseless, and the improved output of these plants demonstrates this point unequivocally."

Duke was speaking of California employees it decided to keep.

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