Western Price Survey
Week's End Edition
Wholesale Prices Make Drastic Jump, Then Settle Down Into WeekendWholesale power prices at most Western hubs saw a pattern of early-week climbs, losses for weekend deliveries and slight rises anticipating Monday's demand spike.
Palo Verde's daytime power prices were the only ones that defied that pattern. According to one exchange, peak power traded for 65 mills/kWh Friday after reaching as high as 85.25 mills/kWh Thursday. Off-peak power traded in the mid-40s all week before jumping in Friday trading to the mid-50s.
South of Path 15 heavy power values stayed just below 80 mills/kWh until Wednesday, when that was the average price. Prices began to dip Thursday, and by Friday averaged only about 75 mills. Light power values hovered just below 50 mills/kWh until Friday, when they jumped as high as 55 mills and fell as low as 47 mills/kWh in one day.
At North of Path 15, daytime power prices followed the Western pattern this week. After trading in the upper 70s all week, prices barely broke 80 mills/kWh Wednesday to reach 80.50 mills/kWh. On Friday, one exchange reported a low trade of 61.50 mills/kWh. Nighttime power traded around 47 mills/kWh until Friday, when it averaged 53 mills.
At the California-Oregon Border, daytime prices couldn't reach above 70 mills/kWh, though they moved within 6 mills of the mark. Low-demand values moved less than 2 mills/kWh through Thursday, trading at about 46 mills. Friday, off-peak prices topped 50 mills/kWh for the first time all week.
Mid-Columbia traders couldn't move peak power prices above 60 mills/kWh. Prices for weekend deliveries dropped to the low 50s before inching a couple of mills higher Friday. Nighttime prices dropped a few mills Thursday to the low 40s, then bumped up Friday to again average about 45 mills/kWh.
In other developments, the California Energy Commission released its forecast for next summer's loads. Peak demand is expected to fall in Southern California this summer but to rise in North of Path 15 territory and in Sacramento, according to the final state energy load forecast for summer 2008.
According to the report from the CEC released Monday, Pacific Gas & Electric's peak will rise by 1.9 percent from June 2006 to 20,057 MW in 2008.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District control area will see peak demand rise by 8.2 percent to 4,885 MW, in part because of faster-than-projected load growth.
At South of Path 15, peak demand in Southern California Edison's planning area is forecast to fall by 1.6 percent to 23,109 MW thanks to slower-than-projected load growth. That drop will offset a forecast 4.5 percent jump in demand in Pasadena and a 1.2 percent jump in San Diego, leaving the overall forecast for South of Path 15 at 28,493 MW, 1.1 percent lower than in 2006.
Overall, the statewide peak demand for 2008 is forecast to be only 1.2 percent above the 2006 peak, or 61,571 MW [Charles Redell].
Natural Gas Stocks Grow Again, Western Prices Drop
Natural Gas Stocks Grow Again, Western Prices DropThe U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that the nation's stores of natural gas grew last week, but the size of the injection was relatively low for summer. Nationwide, stores increased by 89 Bcf. The West contributed 13 Bcf to its stock of natural gas.
Prices in the West started the week out strong and averaged above $7.00/MMBtu at almost all hubs on Monday. By Friday, traders at all but one hub saw average prices drop below $6.50/MMBtu.
The Southern California Border was the only hub where average prices stayed above $6.50/MMBtu, though they still dropped hard. Monday values were around $7.20/MMBtu. By Friday, the cost of fuel declined to about $6.70/MMBtu at the hub.
At the San Juan Basin in New Mexico, average prices dropped about 50 cents from $7.00 to $6.50/MMBtu on Friday.
Prices at the Permian Basin in Texas followed those in New Mexico. They fell from Monday's average of $7.00/MMBtu to about $6.50/MMBtu on Friday [C. R.].
Archives of the Western Price Survey for the past year are also available online.
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