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Western Price Survey

May 30, 2014
Western Energy Prices Continue to Rise

Western energy prices moved higher for another week, despite a shorter trading period and unremark-able weather on the horizon.

This trading period is unusual in that it is wedged between a holiday and the month's end. With the Memorial Day holiday, no trades were posted on May 26. May 30 trades were slated for June 2 delivery

Peak Western power prices added between roughly 10 cents and $5.60 on average in the trading period. Palo Verde proved the exception, down 35 cents to $44.15/MWh. By May 30, prices ranged from an average of $40.65 at Mid-C to $52.10/MWh at South of Path 15.

Off-peak power prices in the West also moved higher in the trading period, with California-Oregon Border posting a sharp uptick by week's end. The hub gained almost $21 between Thursday and Friday, ending Friday at $27.45/MWh. Average off-peak prices ranged from $8.20 at Mid-C to $40 at SP15 (see chart).

Renewable-energy production on the Cal-ISO grid reached 8,695 MW on May 26. Solar produc-tion reached more than 4,500 MW May 27, while thermal generation exceeded 15,400 MW that same day (see Power Gauge, next page).

Working gas in storage reached 1,380 Bcf as of May 23, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates, a net increase of 114 Bcf from the previous week. Storage levels are now 35.2 percent less than a year ago and 40.1 percent less than the five-year average.

The net storage increase is the largest since 2009, according to the agency, and also greater than mar-ket expectations.

Natural gas prices shot up, with Henry Hub gas spot values gaining 13 cents since last Thursday, trading May 29 at $4.61/MMBtu. Western prices generally followed suit, adding between 17 and 21 cents on average, led by Southern California Bor-der, up 21 cents to $4.73/MMBtu. PG&E CityGate gas proved the exception, falling 82 cents to $4.11 in Thursday-to-Thursday trading.

The California Department of Water Resources reported that, as of May 30, the statewide snow-water equivalent was at 0.2 inches, or 3 percent of normal for this date.

What's ahead: Temperatures in the Sacramento area are set to cool Monday after moving into the 90s. Most other Western metro areas, namely Los Angeles, expect little weather variation.

Portland and Seattle should be dry, with Portland expecting seasonally normal temperatures [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.

Please contact with questions or comments about this site.

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

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