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Power Measurements

A new way to measure what matters most: how close a unit comes to meeting its total potential profit.
Fortnightly Magazine - December 2004

scores from our list of top 5 performers occurs in the nuclear category. Entergy's Indian Point 2 received the highest score-nearly 61 percent. Because the unit had a capacity factor of 98 percent, the main variables to consider in the EDF score are the costs and the prices. The prices at Indian Point 2 were higher than costs almost 55 percent of the time, and the unit received a slightly higher EDF simply because when prices were higher than costs, they were significantly higher.

While it was still in the top 5 of the nuclear category, Indian Point 3 (with prices almost equivalent to those of Indian Point 2) received a 54.7 percent EDF score simply because it had experienced a month-long outage. Also, during the outage one of the highest price spikes of the year occurred. Both of these factors combine to result in a lower EDF.

Overall, lower prices in overbuilt markets require generating facilities to perform at their best to achieve even modest success. Capacity factors still serve as a basic metric of success. However, in open markets, where it is possible, we believe a unit's success can be better gauged by considering how well a unit was run from a market perspective instead of just how much it was run. The EDF incorporates many different types of data and boils them all down into a single index of performance that can be used to measure a unit's performance over time and its performance when compared to its peers. The metric is normalized to account for the fact that some units have inherently different input costs (fuel, and operations and management), and normalized to account for the fact that some units receive more attractive prices than others. We believe it is a useful addition to an energy analyst's toolbox.

Endnotes

    1. We use EPA CEMS data for hourly generation.

    2. We use various public information sources combined with original research.

    3. We estimate this using a model that contains FERC Form 1, EIA 423, EIA 906 and other datasets.

    4. We match nodal prices from the ISO markets to individual generators. This does imply that our current version of the EDF is only calculated for the ISO markets.

 

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