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.

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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.

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Industry News

Shell Valuation of Power Agreements Too Optimistic, Former Manager Says

LCG, July 18, 2002--A former manager at the energy trading unit of Royal Dutch Shell ("Shell") in Houston who was dismissed in August 2001 told the Financial Times and Reuters that the company's valuation of options it held on power purchases relied on overly optimistic assessments of future power prices.

Shell's agreements with independent power producers require it to make capacity payments of $7.4 billion over 20 years. The power producers run plants using natural gas from Shell, which may exercise options to sell power from the plants should power prices rise. The agreements were sealed three years ago, when power prices in the U.S. were about 50% higher than they are currently. The manager, George Namur, claimed that "We knew what our capacity payments would be and then had to use highly optimistic power price forecasts and other creative items to exceed the 15 per cent return rate." The forecasts used in valuation of such options are potentially wide-ranging.

A statement by Shell indicated that "rigorous due diligence and evaluation processes" were undertaken prior to the company's completing the deals, which are not uncommon in the energy industry. Shell stated that 2001 accounting recognized profits from the deals as the agreements progressed. Most payments for the "tolling" agreements will be due in 2007.
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