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Western Price Survey

Week's End Edition
June 14, 2013
Western Power, Gas Prices Lower

Average peak-power prices in the West dropped since last Friday, reflecting softer natural gas values and less demand.

Working gas in storage reached 2,347 Bcf as of Friday, June 7, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates, a net increase of 95 Bcf from the previous week. Storage levels are now 20 percent less than a year ago and 2.4 percent below the five-year average.

Henry Hub natural gas lost 3 cents on average since last Friday, trading June 14 at $3.76/MMBtu. Over the same trading period, PG&E CityGate natural gas dropped 9 cents to $3.82; Malin and Southern California Border gas shed 3 cents to $3.58 and $3.72/MMBtu, respectively.

The storage addition was slightly less than the expected consensus, which buoyed natural gas prices after the figures were released, noted Barclays analysts in their weekly commodities report. "We expect the storage deficit to continue to narrow and inventories to end the injection season at 3.8 Tcf," the report noted.

Power prices in the Pacific Northwest are not as low as last year during spring runoff. At Mid-Columbia on June 15, 2012, for example, off-peak prices reached a four-year low of -$15/MWh, with Bonneville Power Administration-area hydro moving past 14,000 MW.

By contrast, peak hydro at BPA this week reached 13,133 MW June 10. Off-peak prices at Mid-C ranged between $7 and $26.75/MWh on average this week.

Here's how average peak-power prices at Western hubs fared since June 7:

  • Mid-Columbia: Dropped $6 to $32.90/MWh.
  • California-Oregon Border: Lost $5.30 to $35.15/MWh.
  • North of Path 15: Down $3.50 to $39.05/MWh.
  • South of Path 15: Fell $4.70 to $43.55/MWh.
  • Palo Verde: Lost $2.80 to $35.85/MWh.

Off-peak prices also generally fell, losing between $1.50 and $4.80 in the trading period. Off-peak values June 14 ranged from $24.95/MWh at Mid-C to $38 at SP15.

Peak demand on the Cal-ISO grid reached 33,942 MW June 11, the week's high, according to the grid operator. Northwest Power Pool peak demand reached 51,144 MW June 10.

Solar generation in California exceeded 2,000 MW June 7, Cal-ISO reported. The record 2,071 MW of solar power -- more than double the amount generated in September 2012 -- supplied roughly 5 percent of the state's power demand that day, noted the grid operator.

What's ahead: The National Weather Service forecasts an increased probability of below-normal temperatures from Washington into Northern California from June 19 to June 23. Above-normal rainfall is expected in the Pacific Northwest during that same period [Linda Dailey Paulson].


Western Electricity Prices
Week's End: June 10 - 14, 2013
Hub Peak (heavy) Off-peak (light)
Alberta Pool (C$) 21.44-151.83 13.08-33.55
Mid-Columbia 27.50-34.40 7-26.75
COB 29-36 15.50-26.50
NP 15* 38.75-41 29.75-36.50
SP 15* 41-46 31-38
Palo Verde 35-39.25 24-29

* Prices represent both day-ahead locational marginal prices (financial swaps, or EZ Gen DA LMPs) and quasi-swap prices (EZ Gen) as reported by ICE.

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 webmaster@newsdata.com with questions or comments about this site.

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

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