Analyst Takes Power and Renewables

CAISO This Month: Transmission Outages and Bearish Prices

byRob Allerman

For much of March, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) experienced significant fluctuations in power prices due to congestion, transmission outages and bearish pricing trends in SP-15. My team used Panorama to better understand and the Power Market Publications in Mosaic to explain the wholesale power market trends going on this month to our customers.

In March, Enverus launched CAISO into our Panorama platform, which allows us to see transmission outages and how they impact wholesale power markets by showing price decomposition, binding constraints and constraint shadow prices. The image below is our Panorama tool showing transmission flows throughout the Western Electricity Coordination Council.

Panorama helped my team get a better understanding of SP-15 prices and how bearish prices were going to be in the month of March. We were able to highlight some of the volatility in prices and the large spread between SP-15 and NP-15 with daily commentary and price forecasts in our Power Market Publications that come out daily in our Mosaic platform by 7:00 a.m. CT. For example, as early as the week of March 4, the Power Market Publications were highlighting the risk that transmission outages would have on SP-15 prices especially during high renewable periods.

Our price map showcased the wide basis, with NP15 maintaining the premium hub in the day-ahead market, while SP-15 struggled to transmit megawatts northward into Mid-C or NP-15. SP-15 on-peak prices averaged $7.57 and NP-15 $29.60 from March 1-27. The map below is the average RT prices from March 8-14 and is good example of how transmission outages and strong renewable generation in the south impacted wholesale power prices.

Through much of March, Panorama highlighted trouble spots, most notably the congestion in NP-15 around Moss Landing and in the southern San Francisco Bay area, which contributed to increased prices in NP-15. Transmission outages in key corridors, such as the Mid-way/Vincent/Los Banos hindered the flow of electricity toward the north, resulting in trapped megawatts (MWs) in SP-15. Furthermore, we saw transmission line outages in the Central Valley trapping MWs in the south and transmission work in the Imperial Valley leading to congestion on the Mexican border exacerbating supply imbalances. The SP-15 price forecast continues to take on a bearish outlook as we continue to see numerous outages and ongoing maintenance work so bearish conditions are expected to persist. There should be some relief by mid April as the DC line work ends and SP-15 can send flow up to Mid-C. In addition, power units planned outages begin to increase.

The relationship between transmission outages, renewable generation forecasts, and market dynamics emphasizes the complexity of managing wholesale electricity in CAISO. As the region grapples with infrastructure challenges and evolving renewable energy integration, traders and power market participants must navigate market uncertainties with care. Leveraging solutions like our Power Market Publications and Panorama can help better manage against these uncertainties in the power markets.

Rob Allerman

Rob Allerman

Rob Allerman is Senior Director of Power Analytics at Enverus. Before joining Enverus, Rob was Head of North America Power Analytics at EDF Power Trading in Houston, Texas, and spent many years as a power analyst at Deutsche Bank. Rob also worked in the western U.S. for nearly 10 years at Power Utilities and started his career as a Hydrologist for the Federal Government.

Subscribe to the Enverus Blog

A weekly update on the latest “no-fluff” insight and analysis of the energy industry.

Related Content

Enverus Blog - Coterra’s big Permian projects defy degradation worries
Intelligence Oilfield Services
ByJoseph Gyure, Editor, Enverus Intelligence

In the biggest oilfield services transaction since 2016, SLB agreed to acquire ChampionX Corp. for $7.76 billion in stock, bringing an industry leader in production chemicals into the OFS giant’s fold. ChampionX’s $420 million in net debt brings the transaction...

drilling-services-professional
Geoscience Analytics
ByDai Jones

Offshore drilling is a complex and multifaceted process essential for accessing oil and gas reserves beneath the seabed. Exploration drilling is the initial phase, crucial for identifying potential oil or gas reservoirs. It involves the deployment of mobile drilling units...

team
Operators
ByBryn Davies

Did you know that Enverus now has 18 offices around the world, with the most recent addition of the Brno office in Czechia

available transfer capacity
Energy Transition
ByRiley Prescott

Renewable integration has experienced a remarkable surge in Texas, with the installation of more than 9 GW of renewable capacity in 2023 alone.

minerals-management
Minerals
ByPhillip Dunning

Are you considering buying mineral rights in Texas? Before you take the next steps, familiarize yourself with the comprehensive information we've presented in this blog post.

enverus-instant-analyst-ai
Analyst Takes Generative AI
ByEnverus

The energy sector is definitely drawn to the potential of artificial intelligence (AI). The promise of making things work better and more efficiently is too tempting to ignore.

Enverus News Release - Utility growth prospects: Quantifying long and short opportunities
Analyst Takes Power and Renewables
ByRob Allerman

For much of March, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) experienced significant fluctuations in power prices due to congestion, transmission outages and bearish pricing trends in SP-15. My team used Panorama to better understand and the Power Market Publications in...

energy-transition-group-of-professionals-meeting
Energy Transition
ByCarson Kearl

One of the most common and important questions for the power sector today is what impact artificial intelligence and the data centers needed to generate it will have on energy consumption.

taming-midstream-costs-refined-expense-accruals
Midstream
ByEnverus

Midstream is caught between a rock and a hard place. On one hand, gathering and pipeline operators, processors, storage and energy marketers face abundant opportunities and challenges when meeting customer demand.

Let’s get started!

We’ll follow up right away to show you a quick product tour.

Let’s get started!

We’ll follow up right away to show you a quick product tour.

Sign up for our Blog

Register Today

Sign Up

Power Your Insights

Connect with an Expert

Access Product Tour

Speak to an Expert