Mint Happenings – Q4 2015

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Mint Happenings – Q4 2015

Mint Energy 2015 Highlights
Internal Happenings

Mint Highlights

Industry Happenings
Adequate Power Supplies, NatGas Pipeline Capacity Constraints
Winter Facts & Figures
New England’s Focus on Energy Efficiency
New Load Forecasting Methodology Cuts Projected Peaks
FERC Accepts PJM Proposal to Raise Energy Offer Cap
Solar Investment Tax Credit Extended
National Grid (MA)
Eversource (MA)
Eversource (Western MA)
National Grid (RI)
Central Maine Power
Emera Maine
Mint Energy 2015 Highlights

Mint is in the final stages of developing our online historical rate analysis tool, which will allow prospects/affiliates to receieve an instant historical rate analysis, based on a customer’s rate and usage, and compare several options against one another.

Fixed rate product offerings for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut customers have been added to our website. Links to these rack rate solutions can be found on our homepage.

We’ve hired a new Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Peter A. Duprey was appointed in November and will focus on further expanding Mint Energy’s customer base through continued product development, and greater client engagement via data, efficiency and technology solutions tailored to individual customers

Adequate Electricity Supplies Are Expected, Natural Gas Pipeline Constraints Still Concerning

New England should have adequate electricity supplies to meet consumer demand this winter, which could reach almost 22,000 MW when temperatures drop below 2 degrees. However, natural gas pipeline constraints continue to be a problem in guaranteeing system reliability.

“Winter has become a challenging time for New England grid operations,” said Vamsi Chadalavada, executive vice president and chief operating officer of ISO New England. “Especially during the coldest weeks of the year, the natural gas infrastructure in New England is inadequate to meet the demand for gas for both heating and power generation.”

ISO New England has again enacted the Winter Reliability Program, in order to avoid the possibility that natural gas fired generators will not be able to get the fuel they need to operate during colder weather. The winter programs have been a significantly essential to maintaining reliability during the past two winters.

[Source: “2015/2016 Winter Outlook: Sufficient Power Supplies Expected, But Natural Gas Pipeline Constraints Remain a Concern” ISO Newswire. ISO New England, Dec 1, 2015. Web.]

Winter Facts and Figures
Power that will be available: 31,058 MW (most comes from natural gas)

Winter peak forecast: 21,077 MW (with winter temperatures at about 7°F)

Extreme winter peak forecast: 21,737 MW (with winter temperatures at about 2°F)

Generation with capacity supply obligations: about 29,932 MW

Net electricity imports: about 1,226 MW

Demand-response resources: about 587 MW

Last winter’s demand peaked at 20,583 MW on January 8, 2015

The all-time winter peak is 22,818, set on January 15, 2004, during a cold snap

The all-time peak demand is 28,130 MW set on August 2, 2006[Source: “2015/2016 Winter Outlook: Sufficient Power Supplies Expected, But Natural Gas Pipeline Constraints Remain a Concern” ISO Newswire.ISO New England, Dec 1, 2015. Web.]

ISO New England is Focusing on Energy Efficiency

ISO New England is attempting to reduce growth in peak demand and electric use in the region, through vigorous energy efficiency efforts (mainly in the form of solar projects) and new distributed generation capacity.

Significant changes are also being made in the composition of generation, transmission, demand resources, and wholesale market.

For example, ISO New England has proposed roughly 4,000 MW of new wind capacity, much of which would be built “in remote areas of the region where wind conditions are good, but the electrical system is weak.”
Additionally, the regional transmission organization has been working with utilities and other stakeholders to improve the transmission network in New England. The RTO notes that a main component of the Maine Power Reliability Program, one of the region’s larger transmission efforts, was completed in earlier 2015.

ISO New England’s 2015 Regional System Plan suggests that the annual growth rate in peak summer demand in New England will average 0.6%, annual use of electricity will remain unchanged through the 10-year period, and winter peak will decline over the period by an estimated 0.1% per year. They affirmed that without expanded energy efficiency and new solar capacity, annual energy consumption would grow by 1% per year, and peak demand would grow by 1.3%.

[Source: “ISO New England eyes solar, wind, gas in low growth, energy efficiency focused next decade” Platts.Platts, McGraw Hill Financial. Nov. 9, 2015. Web.]

New Load Forecasting Methodology Cuts Projected Peaks

PJM has made many changes to its methodology, in response to criticism that its forecasts overestimated loads. The new load forecasting methodology cut projected peaks for key benchmarks by 3.5% or more, and effect both the capacity market and transmission planning.

The primary revisions reflect new trends in energy efficiency and weather measurements in the peak demand forecast.

Changes include adding variables to account for trends in equipment and appliances saturation and efficiency, revised weather variables; examining 20 years of weather patterns instead of 40 years, updated economic area/weather station assignments to zones, and revised weather normalization procedure. Distributed solar generation is also now reflected in the historical load data used to estimate the models, with a separately derived solar forecast used to adjust load forecasts.

[Source: “Changes to PJM Load Forecast Cuts Benchmark Peaksr” RTO Insider. RTO Insider, LLC, Jan 4, 2015. Web.]

FERC Accepts PJM Proposal to Raise Energy Offer Cap

FERC has accepted PJM Interconnection’s proposal to raise PJM’s $1,000/megawatt-hour (MWh) energy offer cap. The changes went into effect December 14.

The proposal states that cost-based offers may be submitted at any level. However, the revisions limit the ability of the cost-based offers to set the locational marginal price up to a cap of $2,000/megawatt hour. Any costs in excess of $2,000/MWh may be recovered through make-whole payments and are subject to an after-the-fact review by PJM and the independent market monitor. Offers above $2,000 still will be dispatched in merit order.”
In its recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on price formation, the FERC indicated that it is going to act on this issue for a long-term solution. During the 2014 Polar Vortex, some generators with a requirement to offer into the energy markets incurred verifiable costs in excess of the energy offer cap. FERC approved waivers from PJM to address the issue for the remainder of the 2013-2014 winter

[Source: “FERC Accepts PJM Energy Offer Cap Proposal” PJM Inside Lines.PJM, Dec. 14, 2015. Web.]

Solar Investment Tax Credit Extended

President Obama signed legislation passed by Congress to extend the federal Investment Tax Credit, which was scheduled to expire at the end of 2016. The extension makes the credit available for as many as eight years as part of a $1.15 trillion spending bill.

The agreement extends the solar ITC at the current 30-percent rate through 2019, after which it will fall to 26 percent in 2020, 22 percent in 2021 and 10 percent in 2022. An additional commence-construction clause will extend the credit to any project in development before 2024. And the wind PTC will be retroactively applied to 2015 and extended through 2016, after which it will decline each year until it fully expires in 2020.

The loss of the ITC would have decreased demand for solar, which according to the market forecast company IHS, solar capacity installation was forecast to decline by 10% globally after the ITC expired. Many industry players predicting a crash in what has been a strong, rapidly growing market.

As the result of the ITC extension, the forecast has since been reversed. Forecasts were released that show U.S. solar hitting 20 gigawatts by 2020 and incrementally adding 40 gigawatts over the next five years due to this extension.

[Source: Holden, Emily. “Renewables Boom Expected Thanks to Tax Credit” Scientific American.Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc., Dec. 21, 2015. Web.]
By | 2017-03-20T13:25:11+00:00 August 21st, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

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