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In This Issue

Boston, New York Pay Up to Stay Cool in East Coast Heat Wave

Heat is on, But the Power Grid is Holding [PJM]

GDF SUEZ Energy Resources NA Changes Name to ENGIE Resources, Announces New President and CEO

Natural Gas and Oil Market Update

EIA - Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

NYMEX Natural Gas Week-to-Week Price Change

Natural Gas Futures - Five Year Price


NOAA 6 to 10 Day Outlook
Color indicates the probability of forecasted temperatures being above or below a historical average for the period.


Market Overviews

Boston, New York Pay Up to Stay Cool in East Coast Heat Wave

Bloomberg | July 28, 2016

It’s a scorcher on the East Coast, and the Northeast is paying even more than neighboring Washington to stay cool.

Spot wholesale electricity at the hub for Boston soared 65 percent as of 4 p.m. Friday, a two-week high for on-peak hours, grid data show. In New York, prices were up 51 percent. That compares with a 12 percent rise in Washington.

Sheer heat is partially to blame for the rising Northeast prices as households and businesses in New England and New York City use more electricity than the grid operators had projected to blast air conditioners. The high temperature in Boston on Friday is expected to peak at 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius), 13 above normal. That just edges out Manhattan’s 93 and Washington’s 96, according to AccuWeather Inc.’s website. Con Edison is asking customers in parts of northeast Staten Island to conserve energy while company crews work to repair equipment problems. Utility Consolidated Edison Co. asked customers in parts of Staten Island to conserve power and reduced voltage in some areas as a precaution.

The higher electricity prices in the Northeast are in large part due to the region’s reliance on gas from outside the area to produce electricity. Buyers in the Northeast pay a premium for that fuel partially due to pipeline constraints.

In fact, as New England power operators boost output to meet soaring demand, they’re turning to supplies from Trinidad for the first time in almost two weeks. Engie SA’s Everett, Massachusetts, import terminal received its 20th tanker this year on Thursday, bringing total imported volume to 52 billion cubic feet, Carol Churchill, a spokeswoman at the plant, said in an e-mail Friday.

The terminal also supplies imported liquefied natural gas to the adjacent Mystic power plant owned by Exelon Corp. Gas-fired plants were providing about two-thirds of the power supply on the ISO New England Inc. grid midday Friday; a decade ago they accounted for about 15 percent.

Without these imports, electricity prices in the region would be higher still.

“Significant LNG supplies to the region, including direct supplies to the neighboring Mystic power plant, have contributed to lower electric prices for New England,” said Churchill.

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Heat is on, But the Power Grid is Holding [PJM]

USA TODAY | July 28, 2016

The retirement of coal and nuclear power plants in the U.S. over the last few years has raised concerns that the electric power industry might fail to deliver when demand for power heightens — such as during a blistering heat wave.

But for the most part, that’s not the case this week as a so-called “heat dome” leaves the eastern and central parts of the U.S. sweltering with temperatures of 95 degrees or more and feeling as though it’s much hotter.
“So far, so good,” said Michael Bryson, the vice president for systems operations at PJM Interconnection, the operator of the largest electric grid in the U.S. “Our transmission and generation have been performing very well.”
PJM, which coordinates transmission and operates a wholesale electricity market in a region covering 13 states and the District of Columbia, recorded a high point for demand of nearly 152,000 megawatts on Monday and forecast a peak of 145,600 megawatts on Tuesday as temperatures tapered off a bit. (One megawatt is enough to power 800 to 1,000 homes.)

That corresponds with PJM’s forecasts of peak demand this summer, and falls well within the 184,000 megawatts of installed generating capacity in the system that serves Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, among other states.

The story is similar across other regions to the north, south and west of PJM’s market where the massive heat wave has lingered, Bryson said in an interview.

While some local disruptions have occurred, such as severe thunder storms that combined with the searing weather to black out 14,000 Con Edison customers in New York, the bulk power system has been running relatively smoothly.
“They’re all in a similar position as us,” Bryson said of the other grid operators. “We’re kind of stressing the system a little bit, but all of us are in pretty good shape.”

This comes as electric power generators continue to close coal and nuclear plants that cannot compete with low-price natural gas and government-supported solar and wind power.

More such shutdowns are anticipated under the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which would reduce carbon emissions from the U.S. power sector by 30% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.

That strategy was put on hold by the Supreme Court in February while a lower court considers a lawsuit by 24 states challenging its legality.

But regardless of the outcome of that appeal, executives of many utilities plan to continue to reduce their reliance on coal in response to public and investor concerns over climate change as well as state policies that promote green energy.

Amid those changes, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, an industry group that promotes dependable electricity supplies, cautions that regulators and power providers must take into account the need for new capacity and other infrastructure necessary to keep the grid operating well.

But for now, anyway, Bryson isn’t seeing such risks, even with Mother Nature breathing down the backs of him and others who keep bulk power supplies flowing.

“We’ve definitely seen the change in the fuel mix from coal to gas,” he said. “We’ve seen one or two nuclear plants announce retirement. We constantly focus on what is the impact on reliability. And again, particularly from a capacity standpoint, we think we still have a very reliable grid.”

One big reason for the smooth transition is that new capacity is keeping up with the losses of old power plants, he added.

“We saw a significant amount of coal retirements last spring. All of it was replaced by gas.”

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GDF SUEZ Energy Resources NA Changes Name to ENGIE Resources, Announces New President and CEO

Yahoo! Finance | July 28, 2016

GDF SUEZ Energy Resources NA Inc. – The third-largest non-residential electricity provider in the United States – announced today that it has officially changed its name to ENGIE Resources and that it will be led by a new president and chief executive officer, Sayun Sukduang.
The announcement is part of a global rebranding effort initiated by the supplier's parent company, ENGIE, that reflects the Group's commitment to a responsible growth model – taking on the major challenges in today's energy transition, providing access to sustainable energy, adapting to climate change, and providing greater security of supply in the United States and around the world.

Sukduang said adoption of the new name reflects the "revolution" taking place in the current energy sector, including advancements in renewables, distributed energy, and new opportunities to reduce energy use.

"This represents more than just a name change for us," said Sukduang.  "It marks a new direction and a forward-looking strategy for our company, and it underscores our transformational values and business practices, our industry leadership, and our commitment to environmental responsibility, as well as the unique sense of vitality that defines ENGIE Resources."

As part of the rebranding, ENGIE Resources unveiled its vision to create a new energy future for consumers through innovative energy solutions.  It also announced a new mission to continuously learn about its customers' needs so as to provide the best experiences, while creating an environment of excitement and empowerment for employees to build a sustainable business model, excel operationally, and grow through collaborative partnerships, energy products, and solutions.   

With its new mission and vision, Sukduang said, ENGIE Resources is well positioned to build upon its recent successes.

"We live in a new energy world," he said, "and we have a responsibility to provide customer-driven energy solutions to meet the needs of the marketplace.  I am confident, given the significant benefits ENGIE Resources brings to our customers – expressed in our commitment to innovation, customer satisfaction, transparent communication, and environmental stewardship – we can take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead to better serve our customers and other stakeholders."

ENGIE Resources is the third-largest and, arguably, one of the most successful commercial and industrial retailers in North America.  Consistently ranked high by customers and counterparties, the company has delivered superior risk management capabilities to over 85,000 accounts.

Meanwhile, ENGIE Resources is very well poised to lead the "revolution" in that no other supplier has its track record showing the company's ability to effectively manage real-time energy procurement, provide deep insights into customers' energy usage, recommend energy efficiency solutions, and measure and verify outcomes.  ENGIE Resources enters this new era under the sure guidance of Sukduang, an energy industry veteran with nearly 20 years of experience in the sector and a long-standing member of the Group.

In his most recent role, Sukduang managed teams and companies responsible for the implementation of major energy infrastructure projects, ranging from thermal and renewable generation assets to large-scale transportation pipelines.  He previously held executive-level positions in mergers and acquisitions, business development, commodity risk management, and operations.

Prior to his roles with ENGIE, Sukduang worked for Florida Power & Light's regulated energy business.

He holds a degree in engineering from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.

Read More:

Natural Gas and Oil Market Update


Natural Gas Gains as Stockpiles Grow Less Than Expected

The Wall Street Journal | July 28, 2016

Natural gas prices advanced Thursday as weekly inventories rose less than expected, alleviating fears of a glut in U.S. supplies that had sent the fuel’s price lower in recent sessions.

Weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that stocks grew by 17 billion cubic feet during the week ended July 22, the smallest weekly increase for a summer week since 2006. Analysts and traders surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected the agency to report that stockpiles grew by 27 billion cubic feet.


Oil Down 3 Percent After Surprise U.s. Crude, Gasoline Builds

Reuters | July 28, 2016

Oil prices tumbled 3 percent on Wednesday, with U.S. crude futures hitting three-month lows, as U.S. crude and gasoline stocks surged on weak demand during the peak summer driving season.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said crude stockpiles soared 1.7 million barrels last week, instead of falling 2.3 million barrels as forecast. Gasoline inventories rose 452,000 barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations for a 40,000-barrel increase.

EIA - Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

EIA - Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report

Working gas in storage was 3,294 Bcf as of Friday, July 22, 2016, according to EIA estimates. This represents a net increase of 17 Bcf from the previous week. Stocks were 436 Bcf higher than last year at this time and 524 Bcf above the five-year average of 2,770 Bcf. At 3,294 Bcf, total working gas is above the five-year historical range.

NYMEX Natural Gas Week-to-Week Price Change NYMEX Natural Gas Week-to-Week Price Change

Natural Gas Futures - Five Year Price ($ per mmBtu)

NYMEX Natural Gas Week-to-Week Price Change - Five Yearly Snapshot

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