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Casey Min

Casey Min
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TRUELight's Clean Energy Market Series: New York

State GoalS

New York is set to become a even greener state as it ramps up its adoption rates for renewable energy. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo introduced a Green New Deal (GND) signing into law the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) in 2019. The plan establishes a carbon neutral economy by 2050, increasing the State’s renewable electricity goal from 50% to 70% by 2030. The states most aggressive plan will also seek 85% reduction in GHG emissions - power generation, industry, buildings, transportation, forestry, and waste by 2050. New York will reduce greenhouses gases by decarbonizing the electric grid with 100% carbon free electricity by 2040. Renewables and other technologies such as solar photovoltaics, wind (all), biomass, fuel cells using non-renewable fuels, tidal, hydroelectric (small), anaerobic digestion, fuel cells using renewable fuels will play a major factor with 70% allocated to generation to reduce energy price volatility. Offshore wind projects will produce 9,000 MW by 2035, which will support 100% decarbonization goals by 2040.  Energy storage will also reduce the need for fossil fuels by utilizing renewable generation of solar and wind target of 3,000 MW. 

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TRUELight's Clean Energy Market Series: Arizona

State GoalS

Arizona is committed to 100% zero-emission energy by 2050 with a 45% renewable energy portfolio by 2030. The state also plans to eliminate coal by 2031, which is seven years sooner than previously projected. This is big news since coal-fueled about as much or more of the state's electricity generation as nuclear power until 2018. Arizona's second-largest power plant, Navajo Generating Station, which was the largest coal-fired facility in the state also closed in late 2019.

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RPS Requirements - Is Your Energy Portfolio Compliant?

Renewables have been headlining many news outlets especially with the Biden administration proposing the $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal to achieve 100 percent carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035. As demand grows for renewables, so has the interest in businesses to go green. However, if you are a retail supplier, there are Renewables Portfolio Standards (RPS) that obligate each retail seller to supply a minimum percentage or amount of their retail load with eligible sources of renewable energy. Renewable energy is energy that comes from resources that cannot be depleted or those that constantly replenish over time such as wind, solar, ocean, hydropower, biomass energy, hydrogen, and geothermal power. It's important to note that the required amount of renewables in your portfolio can also vary depending on the market. This is especially important for suppliers since this could mean major penalties for those suppliers who do not meet their state's requirements.

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Texas Bill Bans Residential Wholesale Electricity Plans

House Bill 16 passed on May 12, 2021, which states that Texas would not allow residential or small-business electricity customers to sign up for electricity plans where wholesale prices for power are passed to customers. This is one of the first pieces of legislation to come forward after Texas was hit with an eight-day winter storm in February 2021 with cold air dropping temperatures into the 20s and 30s.  The storm left 4.5 million customers without power, killed at least 111 Texans, and sent a wave of high energy bills throughout the state.  Energy suppliers scrambled to purchase power that was available and allowed by regulators in Texas. This surged the market price cap to $9,000 a megawatt-hour (highest amount allowed) compared to $21 per megawatt-hour in 2020.  Natural gas prices also hit a record high of more than 700% during the storm.  

Some customers reported bills of over $15,000 from companies such as Griddy Energy that offers wholesale energy plans. Many of these suppliers have since filed for bankruptcy after racking up a large debt with the state.  However, companies like Austin Energy a city-owned utility made money earning $54 million as a result of the Texas freeze. Approximately 30,000 Texans will be affected by House Bill 16 who are on wholesale energy plans out of about 10 million residential customers in Texas. The criticism of the power outages has to lead many board members of ERCOT to resign and state lawmakers are trying to change how the ISO is governed.  Texas is a deregulated state which allows consumers to choose their energy provider, similar to selecting your cellphone provider or your airline company.  However, Texas is the only state on its own power grid and governed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT),  a nonprofit council that regulates the state's electric power to more than 26 million customers, about 90 percent of the states' electric load and connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 710+ generation units.  Reports of limited regulation and poor weatherization of wind turbines, frozen gas wells, and power sources by ERCOT led to the power outages. ERCOT CEO Bill Magness states that "the high prices were necessary to incentivize generators to send power to the grid and to keep big customers from turning their power back on and increasing demand." Not all parts of Texas were affected by the power outage, such as the city of El Paso. After the 2011 winter storm,  El Paso sought additional measures and currently accesses the New Mexico power plant and Montana Power Station, which would allow power to be exchanged with other grids.  Many government officials pushed for repricing the market as a solution, but experts disagreed that it would not have any effect on indexed plans. 

TRUELight Energy has experience helping suppliers and developers with independent valuation analysis to meet development goals and to accurately capture future revenue streams and costs.  Contact us to learn more and schedule a discovery call. 

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Vineyard Wind Is the Nation's First Commercial-Scale Offshore Wind Project

President Biden’s effort to tackle climate change with the goal to set the US economy to net-zero by 2050 and cut emissions by half by 2030 has increased interest in renewable energy such as wind power.  Simply put wind energy, once called windmills is a form of solar energy,  where wind turbines turn wind into electricity using the force from the rotor blades and collected to power the grid.  Compared to its popular counterpart Solar panels, less CO2 is released into the atmosphere, less energy is consumed, and one wind turbine can generate the same amount of electricity per kWh as about 48,704 solar panels.  The $2.8 billion offshore wind project known as Vineyard Wind is the nation's first utility-scale offshore wind energy project and will be a big step to achieve Biden’s target.  According to the EIA, 42 states in 2020 with utility-scale wind power projects generated a total of about 338 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh). The five states with the most electricity generation from wind in 2020 were Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Illinois. These states combined produced about 58% of total U.S. wind electricity generation in 2020. However, compared to the share of total U.S. utility-scale electricity generation. wind turbines accounted for only 8.4%.

The Vineyard wind project will be over 15 miles off the coast of Massachusetts and is expected to power 400,000 homes and businesses and reduce carbon emissions by about 1.6 million tons per year.  The project will provide power to Massachusetts in 2023 and construction will begin this year.  Many political leaders such as U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Bill Keating, and State Representative Patricia Haddad praised the project, and Governor Charlie Baker stated  "Massachusetts should be proud that this decision launches the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind project here on the Commonwealth’s shores. "  Although the project will create thousands of jobs in addition to the big push to clean energy and less reliance on fossil fuels, the New England fishing industry sees the project as being rushed and a disruption to their livelihood.  A major challenge to this renewable source is offshore cabling which can have an environmental impact on marine life and impact on the fishing industry. The Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA), an organization that supports fishing interests feels silenced and is concerned with safe passages of fishing vessels and protection of the marine.  Annie Hawkins, executive director of the RODA, said "there hasn’t been enough opportunity for people in the fishing industry and the public to become informed and weigh in on the proposal."  There are advantages and disadvantages to even renewable energy resources and no matter which side you are on the renewable energy industry is growing and reliance on development on fossil fuels is scaling back.  The interest in PPA or power purchase agreement in renewables has also grown due to the decreased prices as a result of improved technology. 

If you are interested in learning more about how we have helped businesses with expert analysis of the current market for their PPA pricing strategy and projects, contact us to learn more. 

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