Renewable generation was up 30% for the week ending 2/20/14, according to recent estimates from Genscape’s Generation Fuel Monitor Report. The total weekly generation of 11,982 GWhs was the second highest weekly number in the past five years.
Wind generation in the Midwest appears to be a significant driver of the increase week-over-week. Midcontinent ISO wind was up 31% (+220 GWhs), Southwest Power Pool wind was up 117% (+299 GWhs), and ERCOT wind was up 129% (+469 GWhs). It was a very active week for wind, with gusty southerly winds early in the period and strong northerlies on the back side of a very strong cold front to end the week. Genscape’s monitored hydro generation in the Pacific Northwest was also up 39% (612 GWhs), despite the ongoing drought conditions.
As a result of the increase in renewables and weaker power demand, gas consumption plummeted 35% (-7,847 GWhs). This drop was particularly evident in Texas and the surrounding states. After strong output in recent weeks, many units in ERCOT, such as Midlothian, Freestone, and Kiamichi, did not run. The additional culprits appeared to be a combination of weaker demand (ERCOT was down 25% week-over-week), higher gas prices, and gas units on outage. For much of the week, the ERCOT day-ahead markets were trading below an 8,000 btu/kWh heat rate, which was likely not enough to clear this generation. ERCOT was also reporting ~16 GW of generation on outage. Genscape monitors the vast majority of coal and nuclear generation in this region, which appeared to be running, leaving the bulk of this outage number to the remaining gas-fired units.
Genscape’s Generation Fuel Monitor Report offers daily views of fuel consumption at U.S. power plants for all power sector fuels: coal, gas, hydro, wind, nuclear, and oil. The report takes advantage of Genscape’s thousands of patented and high-tech in-the-field energy monitors and proprietary models built by Genscape’s analysts and developers. Learn more or register for a free trial here: info.genscape.com/generation-fuel-monitor-feb
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