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Western Price Survey

May 23, 2014
Power Prices Rise Before Holiday

Western peak-power prices added between 12 cents and $4.70/MWh on average in Friday-to-Friday trading. With the Memorial Day observance May 26, trades made May 23 were earmarked for delivery on Tuesday, May 27.

Northwest prices posted sharp gains between Thursday and Friday, with Mid-Columbia adding $17 in a day. By May 23, prices ranged from $35.75/MWh at Mid-Columbia to $51.95 at South of Path 15.

Off-peak power prices in the West were mixed in the trading period, with Northwest prices losing $3 to $4 while North of Path 15 gained $1.10 by Friday. Average off-peak prices ranged from 35 cents/MWh at Mid-C to $42/MWh at NP15 (see chart).

Renewable-energy production on the Cal-ISO grid surpassed 9,700 MW on May 18 from a combi-nation of strong wind and solar production (see Power Gauge, next page).

Working gas in storage reached 1,266 Bcf as of May 16, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates, a net increase of 106 Bcf from the previous week. Storage levels are now 37.9 percent less than a year ago and 42.7 percent less than the five-year average.

Meanwhile, Henry Hub natural gas spot values gained 13 cents since last Thursday, trading May 22 at $4.48/MMBtu. Western prices were mixed during the week with Southern California Border gas drop-ping 6 cents to $4.52, while Alberta natural gas led gainers, up 9 cents to $3.95.

Fires across San Diego County are now extin-guished, but attention has turned to Arizona, where a fire near Sedona -- started near Slide Rock State Park May 20 -- has prompted evacuations, with thousands more residents preparing to leave on a moment's no-tice. The 7,500-acre fire was 5 percent contained as of press time. "Once the fire has subsided and we have the go-ahead from fire officials, we'll assess the repairs that need to be made," said Damon Gross, a spokesperson for Arizona Public Service. "We're watching it closely, but it has not encroached on any major transmission lines."

What's ahead: In California, after expected day-time highs in the 80s or 90s inland for Memorial Day, cooler temperatures are expected across the Los Angeles area. Inland areas should cool by five to 10 degrees by May 29 or 30, according to the National Weather Service. The California Central Valley should drop from highs in the 90s Monday into the 80s starting May 27. In the Pacific North-west, warmer weather is expected by midweek [Linda Dailey Paulson].

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 Chris Raphael, editor with questions regarding Price Survey Content.

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