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Western Price Survey

April 15, 2016
Northwest Nighttime Power Values Soften as Hydro Output Increases

Generous wind and hydro generation in the Pacific Northwest stifled regional off-peak power prices during the week of April 11.

Hydroelectric output in the Bonneville Power Administration area steadily increased throughout the week, reaching nearly 13,000 MW by April 14. Wind production exceeded 4,000 MW April 12.

During the April 8-15 trading period, Mid-Columbia nighttime power values traded for a low of 75 cents/MWh and a high of $9.50, while California-Oregon Border power traded in a range from $4/MWh to $12.50/MWh.

Average peak power prices gained between 60 cents and $4.65 in Friday-to-Friday trading. South of Path 15 posted the greatest gains, adding $4.65 to reach $24.65/MWh. Prices April 15 ranged from $14.10/MWh at Mid-C to $27.15/MWh at North of Path 15.

Southern California had its own wind challenges this week. Heavy winds throughout the region caused 290 outages, disrupting service to roughly 23,300 Los Angeles Department of Water & Power customers. The utility was in the process of restoring power as of late morning on April 15. Northridge, Westlake, and East Hollywood were the most affected neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, working natural gas in storage was 2,477 Bcf as of April 8, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates. This is a net decrease of 3 Bcf compared to the previous week. Storage levels are now 62.9 percent greater than a year ago and 52.1 percent greater than the five-year average.

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Henry Hub gas spot values eroded 4 cents in Thursday-to-Thursday trading, ending at $1.90/MMBtu April 14.

Western natural gas average values varied, with several hubs following Henry Hub down 4 cents. These included Southern California Border, which ended at $1.77/MMBtu April 14. Alberta natural gas, however, added 4 cents, ending at 77 cents/MMBtu by Thursday.

CAISO demand reached 27,716 MW April 12, which should be the week's high. Total renewables production on the CAISO grid reached 12,022 MW April 13. Total solar production reached 7,219 MW April 12, while thermal generation peaked at 9,977 MW April 8.

The statewide snow-water equivalent was 18.1 inches as of April 14, or 64 percent of the historical average for the same date, according to the California Department of Water Resources [Linda Dailey Paulson].

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


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Contact Chris Raphael, editor with questions regarding Price Survey content.

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