ERCOT Release 4.1b Now Available

The new ERCOT market forecast from Ascend MI is now available in the Market Intelligence Docs module. The new forecast captures recent market dynamics and a refreshed outlook on the power supply stack, gas curves, and technology prices. Impacts of the Inflation Reduction Act to the effective CAPEX of projects and other incentives are also included in the modeling of the prices in this update. In addition to hub price forecasts and market reports, generic battery revenue forecasts at the hubs are available for download.

Webinar 3/29/23: NYISO Forecast 4.1 Preview

Join Ascend’s Dr. Gary Dorris and Dr. Brent Nelson for a webinar where we discuss Ascend’s latest market outlooks for NYISO in the midst of marginal ELCC accreditation, elevated gas prices, and IRA tax credits. This webinar will be held at 11am MT on March 29th, 2023 – access it via Zoom here. If you miss the live presentation, a recording will be posted to the Market Intelligence Hub module.

CAISO 2022 Energy Prices Recap

I. Hubs/System Level
Average Prices

On an ATC basis, CAISO average system level prices nearly doubled from 2021 (excluding Winter Storm Uri) to $80+/MWh. Prices were particularly elevated in December, when California natural gas price benchmarks breached $50/MMBtu on account of low local storage levels and pipeline constraints.


Both RT and DA volatility (2 hour cumulative top-bottom spreads shown below) increased significantly over 2021 excluding Uri, as higher natural gas prices, a summer heat wave in Aug/Sep, recovering average load trends, and increased renewable deployments all contributed to higher intraday price volatility. The declining RT volatility trend of the past several years witnessed a stark reversal, with a rebound back up to 2018 levels. DA top-bottom spreads, strongly tied to natural gas prices, set new records.

II. Regional Observations
Average Prices

Despite CAISO average hub prices changing significantly from 2021 (excl Uri) to 2022, regional relative price trends were relatively stable. The highest average DA prices (red nodes) were generally in Northern California and along the Northern and Southern Coasts, and lowest average prices (blue nodes) were in the San Joaquin Valley and Desert Southeast.


RT volatility metrics broadly increased across CAISO in 2022 versus 2021 excl Uri. In 2022, the Central Valley and the greater San Diego area remained the relatively higher volatility areas within CAISO, as in 2021 (red nodes). Summer volatility in the Central Valley was once again especially high compared to the rest of California.