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Western Price Survey / Archives

Febuary 4, 2005
Western Prices See No Shadow of Price Rise on the Horizon

Little difference in cost was evident between Southern and Northern California this week. Peak power traded on Monday for between 52.25 mills and 54 mills/KWh north of Path 15. The low price south of Path 15 recorded that day was 52.50 mills/KWh, but the high matched the NP15 high. By midweek the peak price edged up to a high of 55.25 mills/KWh at SP15. After a dip on Thursday attributable to lower demand for weekend packages, Friday saw the price range from 53.50 to 55 mills/KWh.

Off-peak power prices in the state ranged from 36 mills to 41.25 mills/KWh much of the week, jumping up to just over 45 mills/KWh on Friday.

Southwest power prices ranged from a low of 46 mills/KWh on Monday to a high of 51.50 mills/KWh the following day. On Thursday the price was trimmed again, settling between 46.50 mills and 49 mills/KWh for the rest of the week. Low-demand power at Palo Verde changed hands for between 31.50 mills and 34 mills/KWh on Monday. Off-peak trading at Palo Verde scooted up to a high of 38 mills/KWh on Wednesday before gaining another few mills on Friday.

Mid-Columbia power kept to its staid self this week, hovering in the 44.50 mills to 46 mills/KWh level. Off-peak power in the Northwest drew between 37.75 mills and 38.25 mills/KWh at the beginning of the week. By the end of the week, power for nighttime delivery early next week was moving for as much as 45.25 mills/KWh.

After a couple of weeks of optimum health at Western nuclear facilities, in which all units were operating at full power, a California facility tripped off line Thursday. San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Unit No. 2 shut down just after noon, causing a small, brief drop in voltage across the Western Interconnect. The loss of the 1,122 MW unit was caused by a fault in the electrical system, said Ray Golden, Southern California Edison spokesperson. Though the exact cause of the problem has yet to be determined and a restart date for the unit has not been set, the shutdown was not attributable to any problem with the nuclear operation of the plant, said Golden.

Other plant outages of note include the 790 MW Mohave Generating Station Unit No. 1, which tripped on Tuesday and remained down the rest of the week. Unit No. 2 at the facility was also curtailed, but generally by only 100 MW or so [Shauna O'Donnell].

Gas Prices Hold Steady in the West

With the exception of the PG&E CityGate hub, prices for natural gas in the Western region remained firmly entrenched in the upper $5 range all this week. There was not a huge amount of difference between the commodity price at the producing basins of Permian and San Juan and delivery points in California.

At the Southern California border hub of Topock, gas moved into the state for a low of $5.58/MMBtu on Monday, climbed up to $5.95 at midweek, then slipped to a range of $5.68 to $5.76/MMBtu by Friday. San Juan gas was on the same trajectory this week, opening at between $5.42 and $5.50/MMBtu on Monday. Deals at the receipt point were settled for a high of $5.70/MMBtu on Wednesday before the cost slipped back down to between $5.42 and $5.53/MMBtu at the end of the week.

The price of gas in the Eastern markets eased significantly this week. The price settled in the range of $6 to $7/MMBtu, quite a change from the $20 figure recorded last week [S. O'D.].

Western Electricity Prices
January 31 - February 4, 2005
Hub Peak (heavy) Off-peak (light)
Alberta Pool (C$) 10.84-204.43 10.34-91.46
Mid-Columbia 44.50-46.50 37.75-45
COB 46.50-50 39-46.50
NP 15 49.75-55.25 40.50-46.25
SP 15 50-55.50 36-41.25
Palo Verde 46-51.50 31.50-40.50

Archives of the Western Price Survey for the past year are also available online.

The Western Price Survey is excerpted from Energy NewsData's comprehensive regional news services. See for yourself how NewsData reporters put events in an accurate and meaningful context--request a sample of either or both California Energy Markets and Clearing Up.

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Contact Shauna O'Donnell, editor with questions regarding Price Survey Content.

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