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Western Price Survey

June 20, 2014
Western Peak Prices Perk Up

With the longest day of the year imminent and inland California temperatures heating up, Western peak power ended the week with average prices generally higher in Friday-to-Friday trading.

California-Oregon Border added almost $7 to $46.10/MWh, while other hubs gained a few dollars. North of Path 15, however, was roughly even at $52/MWh. By June 20, average peak prices ranged from $38.55/MWh at Mid-Columbia to $54.55 at South of Path 15.

Off-peak power prices, however, were mixed by week's end. Northwestern hubs added between $4.90 and $8.60 over the trading period, led by Mid-C, which ended at $20.55/MWh Friday. California-Oregon Border saw wild swings during the week, tumbling $19.10 between Tuesday and Wednesday before jumping $18.50 between Thursday and Friday to end at $26.45/MWh. Average off-peak prices ranged from $20.55 at Mid-C to $38.80/MWh at Palo Verde (see chart). NP15 recorded no off-peak trades on the Intercontinental Exchange for the week; SP15 posted no trades Friday.

Renewable-energy production on the Cal-ISO grid reached roughly 9,095 MW at 3 p.m. on June 16. Solar production has been consistently above 4,000 MW during the afternoon, and wind power has also been robust during the week. In the Bonneville Power Administration area, wind output was also strong, peaking at around 4,215 MW June 14. Hydropower production reached almost 12,000 MW during the week (see "Power Gauge," next page).

Working gas in storage reached 1,719 Bcf as of June 13, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates, a net increase of 113 Bcf compared with the previous week. Storage levels are now 29.1 percent less than a year ago and 33.1 percent less than the five-year average. The agency expects 3,424 Bcf of natural gas in storage when the injection season ends Oct. 31.

Henry Hub natural gas spot values jumped 15 cents since last Thursday, trading June 20 at $4.65/MMBtu. Western prices were up between 3 and 15 cents in Thursday-to-Thursday trading. Opal and El Paso-Permian natural gas gained 15 cents to $4.57/MMBtu and $4.55, respectively. PG&E CityGate proved the exception, dropping 88 cents to $4.18/MMBtu in the trading period.

What's ahead: Inland California temperatures should near or exceed the century mark the week of June 23. Bakersfield expects a 101 °F high June 24, while Palm Springs is forecast to hit 107 °F the same day. Meanwhile, high temperatures in the low 70s are forecast for the greater San Francisco area as well as in Portland during that same period [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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