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Western Price Survey

Week's End Edition
July 2, 2010
Western Electricity Prices Climb Again

Western power prices continued their slow ascent the week ending July 2, with stronger pricing particularly at the northernmost hubs.

California-Oregon Border average daytime prices had the greatest upturn, trading at an average of $42.65/MWh on Friday, a gain of almost $5 for the week and $6 against June 25 prices.

Meanwhile, COB off-peak power traded for an average of $20.79/MWh by week's end, an increase of $6.85 compared with June 25.

Mid-Columbia posted an average price for daytime power of $37.11/MWh Friday, up almost $6 from June 25. Nighttime electricity prices at Mid-C also improved, ending the week at an average of $16.68/MW, up more than $10 compared to the June 25 average.

Columbia Generating Station, the Hanford, Wash. nuclear facility owned by Energy Northwest, continues operating at 85 percent capacity to compensate for record rainfall in the Northwest earlier this month.

Due to the Fourth of July holiday, Friday trades were for Monday and Tuesday delivery.

Daytime prices at North of Path 15 and South of Path 15 traded for an average of $40.93/MWh July 2, up about $2 compared with the previous Friday.

Electricity values at Palo Verde slipped slightly throughout the week. The average peak price was $40.41/MWh July 2, $2.80 less than the previous Friday's average price.

Peak demand on the Cal-ISO grid reached a high of 36,992 MW Monday at 5 p.m. Demand is expected to gradually decrease as the holiday weekend approaches, according to the grid operator. The next demand surge is anticipated Thursday, July 8, when electricity use may exceed 39,000 MW.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a 60 Bcf addition to natural gas reserves provided a total of 2.684 Tcf in storage as of June 25. Although natural gas inventories are now 287 Bcf greater than the five-year average, the addition was less than last year's injection amount; the EIA stated recent warm temperatures led to an increase in natural gas consumption for electricity generation.

Henry Hub spot prices traded at $4.53/MMBtu on June 30, down 7 percent from the preceding Wednesday, according to the EIA. Spot prices traded at an average of $4.71 on Friday, July 2.

Meanwhile, August gas futures for the hub traded at $4.62/MMBtu on June 30, a 24-cent increase over the previous Wednesday's price. July futures contracts expired June 28. The price closed at $4.72/MMBtu, which was up 39 cents during the month, according to the EIA.

What's ahead: Some areas of Washington should reach the 80s midweek, while inland Oregon may have temperatures in the 90s. Southern California may get some precipitation from the remnants of Tropical Storm Alex [Linda Dailey Paulson].

Western Electricity Prices
Week's End: June 28 - July 2, 2010
Hub Peak (heavy) Off-peak (light)
Alberta Pool (C$) 6.48-888.18 5.10-42.22
Mid-Columbia 24-43 0-19.25
COB 26.80-45.50 3.25-22.50
NP 15* 33.75-41.50 17-27
SP 15* 33-41.25 16.75-27.75
Palo Verde 38-44 18-34.25

* 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 with questions or comments about this site.

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

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