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July 5th, 2012

New Hampshire Adds Thermal to Renewable Portfolio Standard

by Andrew Price, President & COO

 

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) are common across the US. In 29 states and Washington DC, there are minimum requirements on the percentage of electrical generation that must come from renewable resources. To-date, these standards have focused on the sources for the generation of electricity.

On June 25th, New Hampshire became the first state to fully integrate renewable thermal energy into its RPS program. The law defines “Useful Thermal Energy” as “renewable energy delivered from class I sources that can be metered and that is delivered in New Hampshire to an end user in the form of direct heat, steam, hot water, or other thermal form that is used for heating, cooling, humidity control, process use, or other valid thermal end use energy requirements and for which fuel or electricity would otherwise be consumed.” In general, thermal sources must come online after January 1, 2013 to be eligible for Class I status.

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June 28th, 2012

US Crude Oil Benchmarks

by Andrew Price, President & COO

When crude oil is discussed, the conversation centers on two primary benchmarks: 1) the US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI), and 2) the European Benchmark, Brent.

WTI is delivered to Cushing Oklahogma and is the physical commodity traded in futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). WTI is a light (low viscosity) and sweet (low sulfur) crude grade, and the most watched crude oil price in North America by far. There are, of course, many other crude oil grades with unique prices. Prices vary depending on the location of extraction, transportation costs to market, and the characteristics of the oil.

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June 7th, 2012

Is Texas Facing a Summer Of Power Shortages?

by Andrew Price, President & COO

Everyone knows that everything is bigger in Texas, and electricity consumption is no exception. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) – the organization responsible for operating the bulk electricity grid in Texas - is forecasting a peak summer demand of 67,492 MW this summer. To put this in perspective, the Independent System Operator of New England (ISO-NE) is forecasting a peak demand of 27,440 MW for the five New England States.   

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May 31st, 2012

North Dakota ‚?? Shale Oil Surge

by Andrew Price, President & COO

North Dakota recently passed Alaska and California to become the 2nd highest oil producing state in the United States. North Dakota production has surged from 100,000 barrels per day in March 2005 to almost 600,000 barrels per day in March 2012. North Dakota is still far behind Texas which produces over 1 million barrels per day, but the explosive growth is adding to the strain on transportation options available to move the crude oil to US refineries.

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