Western Price Survey
April 25, 2014
Northwest power prices corrected from last week even as hydropower production in the Bonneville Power Administration area averaged 9,000 MW to 12,300 MW during the week.
Northwest peak-power prices picked up roughly $6 on average in the Thursday-to-Friday trading period from April 17 to April 25. Mid-Columbia gained $6.70 to $42.05/MWh over the period (see chart). Markets were closed last week on Good Friday.
Off-peak power prices also moved higher, with Northwest hubs recovering from basement-level values. Average prices at the end of the trading period ranged from $22.80/MWh at Mid-C to $40.25/MWh at North of Path 15 (see chart).
Working gas in storage reached 899 Bcf as of Friday, April 18, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates, a net increase of 49 Bcf from the previous week. Storage levels are now 48 percent less than a year ago and 52.9 percent less than the five-year average.
The additions are greater than average and exceed market expectations. The Western region posted a net injection of 10 Bcf during the week, which is 5 Bcf greater than the five-year average injection.
On a Wednesday-to-Thursday basis, Henry Hub natural gas values added 18 cents on average to $4.81/MMBtu. (Gas hubs did not report trades last Thursday via Enerfax.) Western hub prices rose as well, with Malin natural gas spiking 31 cents to $4.88/MMBtu.
A fire on April 23 shut in roughly 1 Bcf/day of production at the Opal Hub in Wyoming. Opal prices added 21 cents in the trading period, ending at $4.74/MMBtu.
The California Department of Water Resources reported that, as of April 25, the statewide snow-water equivalent was at 3.9 inches, or 16 percent of normal for this date.
"Only three weeks after the date of normal maximum snow accumulation, all pillows in the Feather basin are bare except Gold Lake and Bucks Lake," the agency noted. In the April 22 snow-sensor reading, most sites in the Central and Southern Sierra below 8,000 feet were also bare.
Renewable-energy production on the Cal-ISO grid reached 8,740 MW at 3 p.m. April 22. Solar production reached more than 4,200 MW April 21, while thermal generation exceeded 13,700 MW that same day [Linda Dailey Paulson].
Archives of the Western Price Survey for the past year are also available online.
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