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California ISO addresses power price spikes in new EIM tariff proposal

Platts

The California Independent System Operator is proposing tariff revisions aimed at ending unexpected price spikes, or “infeasibilities,” that have occurred in the Western energy imbalance market after it started in November.
“The CAISO is confident that implementing this proposal will substantially ameliorate the remaining infeasibilities encountered in the PacifiCorp balancing authority areas, such that the percentage of remaining infeasible intervals in the energy imbalance market will not be excessive [compared with CAISO’s internal markets and other…

Public utilities chief raises red flags on Hunt plan to buy Oncor

Dallas Business Journal

by Bill Hethcock

Texas Public Utilities Commissioner Ken Anderson today raised concerns about a plan put forth by Dallas-based power company Energy Future Holdings to escape bankruptcy by selling its electricity transmission company Oncor to a consortium led by billionaire Ray L. Hunt and Hunt’s companies.
For the inside story on why Hunt wants Oncor, including extensive comment from Hunt Consolidated Energy CEO Hunter Hunt, read my cover story in this week’s edition.
Anderson filed a memo with the commission Thursday flagging areas of concern for the PUC to consider before voting to reject or approve Oncor’s change-of-control application. If the Oncor deal wins approval in bankruptcy court, the…

US EIA projects natural gas inventories to reach second-highest level on record

Platts

Increased natural gas use this summer to meet air conditioning demand has not impeded injections of gas into storage, putting gas inventories on track to reach their second-highest level on record by the end of October, the US Energy Information Administration said Tuesday in its monthly outlook.
Inventories at the end of July were 23% higher than a year ago and 2% above the previous five-year average for that week at 2.912 Tcf, EIA said in its August Short-Term Energy Outlook.
Inventories began the gas refill season in April about 173 Bcf below the five-year average, but record…

Deregulated Electricity a Mixed Bag for Consumers

The Texas Tribune

by Jim Malewitz

More than a decade ago, Texas lawmakers set the state’s power market free. Longstanding rules limiting who sold electricity to whom — and how much they charged for it — were cast aside so private companies could chase customers, competing for business in a free-market bonanza that would supposedly push down prices for consumers across the state.
So did it work?
Texans who take the time to sort through …

Pace of retiring power generation to meet CPP could strain transmission system

Platts

Pace of retiring power generation to meet CPP could strain transmission system: PJM

The pace at which generation retires to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan could put greater strain on the PJM Interconnection transmission system, the grid operator said in a white paper issued Friday.
The grid operator studied seven scenarios based on three levels of generation at risk of retirement under CPP — 6 GW, 16 GW and 32 GW — to determine the range of possible transmission needs.
“Under certain conditions and implementation scenarios and depending on the time of the many moving parts, new transmission and/or transmission improvements might not be completed in time to …

FERC order might not lower power prices

Platts

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s order allowing demand response and energy efficiency resources to be included in the PJM Interconnection’s upcoming capacity auctions will lower power prices, but the decline may not be as large as first thought, Moody’s said Monday.
Moody’s expects auction prices to increase compared with last year, but the magnitude will be less because of Wednesday’s FERC order, a Credit Outlook published Monday said.
“Although the FERC-mandated reintroduction of demand response and energy efficiency will lower power producers’ prices more than without the FERC order and is credit negative for them, we estimate that the …