Weekly Energy Market Updates by Region - Archive




Issue week: November 5th, 2020  (Wk 45)





WEST Index prices have been volatile during the nightly ramp as many resources remain offline for yearly maintenance. Flexible supply has also been further reduced as the DC Intertie, which connects the Pacific Northwest to Southern California, has been offline for repair over the past few weeks. In the term market, pric-es for Calendar Year 2021 have increased slightly because of strong term prices at SoCal Citygate.

ERCOT  Term prices have been mixed this week as falling gas prices have moved inversely with heat rates out the curve. With little congestion to speak of, real-time prices at the various load zones have settled in the mid-$20s/MWh to start November.

EAST Prices in ISO-NE continue to jump from last week amid load over-performance and limited imports from New Brunswick. Over the past week, the DA average has risen by $17/MWh to $44/MWh. Similarly, the RT average has increased by $12/MWh to $43/MWh.







As everyone knows, hydrogen is the top-ranked element on the periodic table. What not everyone may know is that it could also end up as the top source of large-scale storable green energy.

An appealing benefit of this burgeoning technology is its compatibility with renewables. Often during times of low power demand, renewable sources produce excess electricity that can drive electrolysis, the process of using electric current to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen. The latter of those products can then be piped into underground caverns and dispatched to come full circle and generate electricity itself when demand is high but the grid is undersupplied.

As production costs fall and this technology continues to improve, hydrogen could prove to be the missing piece of the puzzle for states such as California, which keep increasing their renewable-energy targets while still lacking a viable replacement for non-renewable energy sources when wind and solar simply cannot cover their increasing power needs. Indeed, Paul Browning, CEO of Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) Americas, recently told Tim Hornyak of CNBC, “California curtailed between 150,000-300,000 MWh of excess renewable energy per month through the spring of 2020, yet saw its first rolling blackouts [since 2001] in August because the grid was short on energy.”

Such wasted energy might now become a thing of the past, especially because hydrogen can be stored for much longer periods than other forms of energy storage such as lithium-ion batteries, which typically degrade over a relatively short amount of time and are typically designed to be discharged after only 4-5 hours. In fact, the Advanced Clean Energy Storage project under construction in Utah by MHPS and Magnum Development will store enough hydrogen to power 150,000 homes for one year. Its 150,000 MWh of capacity will be approximately 150 times the current lithium-ion battery storage base in the U.S., according to MHPS.

As states continue to retire older baseline generation such as coal and oil in favor of renewables, energy storage is the name of the game. As its atomic number suggests, hydrogen is increasingly looking like that game’s best player.




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