Riding the ERCOT Roller Coaster: A Review of Market Signals & what to watch as summer winds down

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The last few weeks of August have been a roller coaster in ERCOT. The ISO issued two Energy Emergency Alerts (EEA1) after not issuing one for nearly five years. The week of August 12th RT prices at North Hub printed over $8,000 three days and on peak prices averaged over $1500 two days. The week of August 19th was mostly quiet, but Thursday saw a few $2000-plus prints. We looked at how to predict this market volatility using Live Power and other market data accessible in the Yes Energy product suite.

Using Live Power Data to Predict Market Volatility

Using Live Power data and the results of our previous analysis, a pattern emerged that helps us predict the timing of large price spikes. T.H. Wharton consistently ramps several hours before the largest prints. Stryker Creek and DeCordova ramp much closer to the price blowouts. DeCordova has been a particularly strong indicator. During the wild week of August 12th there were two days when prices peaked at ‘only’ $2,000. On those days DeCordova ramped to less than 10% of capacity. 

The week of August 19th ERCOT was quieter, but Stryker Creek and DeCordova remained a strong signal. Strkyer Creek was off Monday and Tuesday when the highest prints were in the $200-$250 range. DeCordova was off Wednesday and Friday. The only day they both ramped was Thursday when we saw those $2,000 prints. These plants will be ones to watch through late summer in ERCOT. 

Using Other Market Data to Signal When ERCOT Market Volatility Will Occur 

Individual pieces of market data such as Load, Wind, and Reserve Indicators including Capacity Available to Increase SCED (Cap Inc. SCED) can all be useful in alerting market participants when the ERCOT market is getting tight and prices may be about to rise, see the below chart from the week of August 12. 

*ERCOT HASL - The maximum capacity a Generation Resource may be dispatched while maintaining its scheduled ancillary services. Calculated as the High Sustained Limit (HSL) minus the Ancillary Service Schedules for Responsive & Non-spin minus Ancillary Services Responsibility for Reg-up.

However you can create even more intelligent signals using our Formula Series and Multi Conditional Alerting capabilities in Quicksignals.

Instead of keeping an eye on Load, Wind, and Cap Inc. SCED separately, we can create a custom data series of Load-Wind in Formula Series and then using our Multi-Conditional alert functionality, set up the alert (detailed below*) that will let you know every time the market is getting tight in ERCOT and North Hub prices are about to rise.

*Multi-Conditional Alert Settings:

Condition 1: Load - Wind > 62,000 MW

Condition 2: Cap Inc. SCED < 2,800 MW

Feeding Hungry Data Models

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FEEDING HUNGRY DATA MODELS:

HOW TO ENSURE ACCURATE & CONSISTENT DATA

FOR YOUR DATA MODELS

Traders and Generation Managers rely on accurate generation & transmission flow data to make decisions. With the increasing use & reliance on automation & modeling it is ever more important to ensure the data is clean, accurate & consistent. Here is a quick overview of how our users can rely on & utilize Live Power Generation & Transmission data to make decisions and feed their models.

STEP 1: START WITH ACCURATE DATA

Live Power, Yes Energy’s data partner, monitors, calibrates and delivers real-time generation & transmission flow data at 60 second intervals. This data is closely observed and calibrated against other generation data sources. This attention to accuracy means that their real-time data closely matches sources like SCED & CEMS data (see video 1)

Video 1. Time Series Chart showing Live Power Generation along with SCED, & CEMS data for the same power plant - Rio Nogales in ERCOT. CEMS

STEP 2: ENSURE A CONSISTENT FLOW OF DATA

In addition to the data Yes Energy collects & maintains, we integrate data from our partners, helping traders see a full picture. Real-time Generation & Transmission data is only available in Yes Energy products through a subscription to Live Power data & Planned Generation Outage intelligence is provided through a subscription to IIR Energy. SCED & CEMS generation data is available as part of Yes Energy tools but for both there is a 45- 60 day reporting lag. Blending the real-time & historical generation data sources provides multiple benefits:

 

Provides users with a consistent flow of data from which to base their analysis - even if SCED or CEMS reports aren’t yet published (see video 2).

 

Video 2. SCED & CEMS Data does not have anything published past October 5th. Live Power real-time generation data (blue) continues and and indicates that this plant has come offline. IIR Energy (black line) has reported an outage for this plant. The real-time generation confirms that the plant does indeed go offline - and actually turns off a bit early and comes back on a bit late. Real-time LMP for HB_HOUSTON indicates some volatility during this time and generation appears to be a fundamental driving the market. Access to the Live Power Real-time Generation data & IIR Energy’s plant status provides this insight.

 

Allows users to set a priority level for each of these data series - setting the order in which each data source is used (see figure 1).

Figure 1. Use the NVL function with the three data sources for generation data in ERCOT - SCED, CEMS and Live Power. This function creates a data series that displays the available data sources in order of priority, ensuring that when one data series has a null value, other sources fill in the gaps.

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Provides a complete data set with which to feed models

STEP 3: FEED SOFTWARE WITH THE ACCURATE CONSISTENT DATA FROM YES ENERGY.

Video 3. Use the Data Table View in the Time Series Analysis module to export the data to Excel. This will pull all of your data series including the blended data series ensuring that your models are not fed null values.

Video 4. DataSignals users can build queries using these generation & transmission flow data series. To address null values, users can use Yes Energy’s “Best Generation Data Series”, create a coalesce statement in their modeling software or configure the data so it is customized for each generator. Then use this latest & greatest generation & transmission data to feed your power flow modeling or any other data model downstream.

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE?

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE A GETTING STARTED GUIDE - INCLUDING SAMPLE API CALLS, HOW TO FIND CRITICAL DATA SETS & TIPS FOR USING POPULAR DATA SCIENCE PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES:

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