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Western Price Survey

April 17, 2015
Green Power Keeps Flocking to the Cal-ISO Grid

Total renewables production in Cal-ISO's area reached 10,725 MW April 15, which was about 36 percent of peak demand for that day.

Meanwhile, the grid operator expects the monthly metered record for all renewables production -- which has not been surpassed since the 4.2 GWh record in June 2014 -- to be exceeded in the coming months. Although the figures for March 2015 are still being calculated, production in February was 2.6 GWh.

It is likely that California will lean on production from renewables and natural gas this summer as the state faces a drought. The California statewide snow-water equivalent on April 15 was 1.3 inches, or 4 percent of average.

For the reporting week ending April 15, consumption of natural gas by the power sector increased 3.9 percent compared to the previous week, "likely reflecting small amounts of cooling demand," according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This comes despite a 3.8 percent reduction in total consumption week over week.

In an April 13 report, Barclays analysts estimated that natural gas use for power generation is up 20 percent year over year -- more than 20 Bcf/day.

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Working gas in storage reached 1,539 Bcf as of April 10, according to EIA estimates, a net increase of 63 Bcf from the previous week. Storage levels are now 81.7 percent greater than a year ago and 8.6 percent less than the five-year average.

Only the West had a net withdrawal of 2 Bcf for the week. This compares to an average for the same period across the last five years of 3 Bcf.

Henry Hub gas spot values eroded 4 cents in Thursday-to-Thursday trading, ending at $2.58/MMBtu on April 17. Western natural gas prices fell between 3 and 30 cents. PG&E CityGate dropped 30 cents to $2.58/MMBtu.

Western peak power prices gained between 40 cents and $4.10 in the April 10 to 17 trading period with California-Oregon Border posting the greatest gains, adding $4.10 to end at $27/MWh. Average daytime prices ranged from $21.85/MWh at Mid-Columbia to $31.50/MWh at South of Path 15.

Northwest hubs' nighttime power values followed suit. Average prices April 17 ranged from $20.85/MWh at Mid-C to $24.30/MWh at COB [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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