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Western Price Survey

June 3, 2016
Power Prices Rise on Heat, but Remain Historically Low

Energy prices moved higher as temperatures in some areas of the Western United States were expected to surpass the century mark on June 3.

California electricity demand should reach almost 39,000 MW June 3, which will likely be the week's high. Demand is expected to level off through the weekend, according to CAISO's forecast.

Average prices for peak power in the West jumped as much as $14 in May 27 to June 3 trading. Mid-Columbia posted the greatest gains, up $14 to $32.95/MWh. Prices June 3 ranged from $31.05/MWh at North of Path 15 to $33.80/MWh at California-Oregon Border.

Average nighttime power prices added as much as $8.15 by the end of trading. Prices June 3 ranged from $19.10/MWh at Palo Verde to $25.75/MWh at South of Path 15.

Markets were closed May 30 for Memorial Day.

Working natural gas in storage was 2,907 Bcf as of May 27, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates. This is a net increase of 82 Bcf compared to the previous week. Storage levels are now about 32 percent greater than a year ago and 35 percent greater than the five-year average.

Henry Hub gas spot values added 55 cents in Thursday-to-Thursday trading, ending at $2.30/MMBtu June 2.

Some Western gas hubs outpaced the Henry Hub benchmark. Over the Thursday-to-Thursday trading week, PG&E CityGate posted the greatest gains, up 68 cents to $2.42/MMBtu.

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Demand peaked on the CAISO grid at 36,995 MW June 2, but the week's high demand of 38,821 MW was anticipated June 3.

Diablo Canyon Unit 2 began its return to service June 2 after refueling and maintenance. The plant was operating at 27 percent capacity as of June 3, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

In May, average natural gas prices were significantly less when compared with the same month last year. Prices at Henry Hub were lower by roughly $1, while PG&E CityGate prices were lower by as much as $1.25/MMBtu.

Average Western power prices in May were between $2.90 and $18.90/MWh less than during the same month in 2015. The Mid-Columbia and NP15 hubs had the greatest differential [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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