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Western Price Survey

June 15, 2005
Southern California and Arizona Customers Start to Feel Pricing Pressure

Power prices in most regions of California moved steadily up as the week progressed, with Southern California and Arizona border customers again paying the highest costs.

South of Path 15 peak power traded Monday at a low of 52.75 mills/KWh. Two days later, as peak power traded at a high of 60.50 mills/KWh, the California-Mexico Reliability Center projected electricity reserves of 7.9 percent, just above required reserves of 7 percent. Off-peak power traded at 27.25 mills/KWh Monday and at a high of 35 mills/KWh for Thursday deliveries.

At Palo Verde, peak power started the week trading between 53 mills and 60 mills/KWh. But as temperatures climbed to 99 degrees on Wednesday, the price reached a high of 63.50 mills/KWh. Off-peak power took a similar ascent--it traded Monday at a low of 24.75 mills and scooted up to 35 mills/KWh in Wednesday trading.

Customers north of Path 15 in California are enjoying cooler weather and less costly electricity than their brethren in the southern half of the state. NP15 peak power started the week at a high of 58 mills/KWh but dropped to a low of 44.50 mills/KWh for Thursday deliveries. Nighttime power traded between 26 mills and 33.75 mills/KWh, with the high set on Wednesday.

California-Oregon border daytime power went for 42 mills to 47.25 mills/KWh on Monday, gained a few mills in Tuesday trading, then lost them the next day. Off-peak power traded Monday at 25.25 mills and climbed to 30.75 mills/KWh two days later.

Electricity still continues to come at attractive prices in the Mid-Columbia region, which is still apparently buoyed by hydro resources. Peak power traded at low of 35 mills/KWh for Tuesday deliveries and a high of 42.50 mills/KWh the next day. Off-peak power traded between 21.25 mills and 28.75 mills/KWh, with the low set on Monday.

A few power plant outages were in play this week. Unit Nos. 2 and 3 of the La Paloma power plant were on a planned outage, keeping close to 500 MW out of circulation. Unit Nos. 6 and 7 of the Moss Landing power plant were also out of service, curtailing some 1,500 MW. The 551 MW Elk Hills power plant went on an unplanned outage on Tuesday and was restricted by 326 MW.

As for the good news, the 1,157 MW Columbia Generating Station in Washington kicked back on after being on a refueling and maintenance outage the past few weeks. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission listed the plant as operating at 100 percent of capacity on Wednesday. Andy Rapacz, manager of contract generating resources for Bonneville Power Administration, said his agency is "thrilled" to have Columbia back. "The need for the power is high," he said.

On Wednesday, flows from Northern California hydro and Midpoint-Summer Lake limited southward flows on the California/Oregon Intertie to 4,700 MW and northward flows to 3,675 MW. The COI was further limited to 4,300 MW in a north to south and 3,375 MW south to north between 9 am and 11 am due to the Malin 500 KV Capacitor Group No. 4 out of service.

Also on Wednesday, southward flows on the Pacific DC Intertie were limited to 3,100 MW and northward flows were limited to 2,084 MW as a result of load tripping capability and Celilo Converters No. 3 and 4 out of service for north to south operation [Chris Raphael].


Western Electricity Prices
Midweek June 13 - 15, 2005
Hub Peak (heavy) Off-peak (light)
Alberta Pool (C$) 30.47-381.16 10.51-73.65
Mid-Columbia 35-42.5 21.25-28.75
COB 41-50 25.25-30.75
NP 15 44.50-58 26-33.75
SP 15 52.75-60.75 27.75-35
Palo Verde 52.50-63.50 24.75-39

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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