News Services
CU/CEM Archives CU/CEM Archives:

Order now and save 50%!

CD-ROM archives of Clearing Up and California Energy Markets are available for purchase and delivery.

Western Price Survey

June 17, 2005
Western Power Costs Feel Little Pressure from Columbia Outage

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

South of Path 15 peak power traded Monday at 52.75 mills/KWh. Two days later, prices peaked at 60.75 mills/KWh. By Friday prices had sagged a bit, down to around 57 mills/KWh. Off-peak power traded at 27.25 mills/KWh Monday, hit 35 mills midweek, and rose to 42.75 mills/KWh on Friday.

At Palo Verde, peak power started the week trading between 53 mills and 60 mills/KWh. But as temperatures climbed to 99 degrees there on Wednesday, the price reached a high of 63.50 mills/KWh and lost only a mill by Friday. Off-peak power took a similar ascent--it traded Monday at a low of 24.75 mills and scooted up to 43 mills/KWh in Friday trading.

North of Path 15 customers 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, dropped to a low of 44 mills/KWh for Thursday deliveries, and ended the week between 54 mills and 57 mills/KWh. Nighttime power traded between 26 mills and 41.50 mills/KWh, with the high set on Friday.

California-Oregon border daytime power went for 42 mills to 47.25 mills/KWh on Monday, gained a few mills in Tuesday trading, and finished the week at around 51 mills/KWh. Off-peak power traded Monday at 25.25 mills and climbed to 38.50 mills/KWh on Friday.

Mid-Columbia peak power traded at low of 35 mills/KWh for Tuesday deliveries and a high of 50 mills/KWh for Monday deliveries. Off-peak power traded between 21.25 mills and 36.25 mills/KWh, with the high set on Friday.

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 at times 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 1,157 MW Columbia Generating Station in Washington kicked back to full capacity on Wednesday after being on a refueling and maintenance outage the past few weeks. The nuclear power plant then went down the next day after reportedly having problems with a digital system that regulates steam flow from the reactor to the turbines. It is unclear how long the plant will be down.

Flows from Northern California hydro and Midpoint-Summer Lake have limited southward flows on the California/Oregon Intertie to 4,700 MW and northward flows to 2,450 MW.

Northwest generation constraints have limited the PDCI to 2,990 MW southward and 1,904 MW northward. The Intertie has also been constrained by out-of-service transmission lines, such as the Round Mountain-Table Mountain No. 1 500 KV line and the Midway-Vincent No. 3 500 KV line [Chris Raphael].

Natural Gas Ascends With Weak Storage, High Crude Oil

For the past several weeks, California hubs have enjoyed natural gas prices that sat comfortably below $6/MMBtu while the rest of the county paid more than a dollar extra. This week, at least, the Western sale appeared on its way to ending as weak storage figures and high crude oil prices -- which pushed $58 a barrel--took their toll.

This week, Permian Basin natural gas was the priciest in the West. It went for a low of $6.23/MMBtu on Monday and hit $6.83/MMBtu the next day.

San Juan Basin natural gas traded at $5.48/MMBtu Tuesday before climbing to $6.00/MMBtu at the end of the week.

Southern California border gas traded between $6.09/MMBtu and $6.37/MMBtu and held steady throughout the week.

The U.S. Department of Energy reported that an additional 73 Bcf went into storage last week in the Lower 48 states-- putting reserves at 17.6 percent above the five-year average. An additional 12 Bcf went into Western storage, bringing it up to 301 Bcf [C. R.].

Western Electricity Prices
June 13 - 17, 2005
Hub Peak (heavy) Off-peak (light)
Alberta Pool (C$) 28.50-381.16 10.51-73.65
Mid-Columbia 35-50 21.25-36.25
COB 41-52 25.25-38.50
NP 15 44-58 26-41.50
SP 15 52.75-60.75 27.75-42.75
Palo Verde 53.50-63.50 24.75-43

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 Shauna O'Donnell, editor with questions regarding Price Survey Content.

Energy Jobs Portal
Energy Jobs Portal
Check out the fastest growing database of energy jobs in the market today.
What's New

Substation Northwest Podcast, Episode 5
Taste editorial excellence.