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Western Price Survey

July 8, 2005
San Diego Gains Access to More Power

San Diegans will find themselves with access to additional power now that the Miguel-Mission No. 2 line is in service. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a host of state energy regulators dedicated the line on July 7. The 35-mile, 220 KV line runs between the Miguel and Mission substations in San Diego Gas & Electric territory and will enable the utility to import 400 MW of additional power into the region.

South of Path 15 electricity changed hands for as much as 80 mills/KWh at midweek. Daytime power opened the week just above the 60 mills/KWh mark, but jumped nearly 20 mills between Tuesday and Wednesday trading sessions. For weekend deliveries the price eased down to between 58.75 mills and 69 mills/KWh, but tacked on another 10 mills for next Monday deliveries. Off-peak power attracted be-tween 31 mills and 50.50 mills/KWh this week.

Daytime deliveries at Palo Verde were moving for as much as 90.50 mills/KWh on Wednesday, a far cry from last Wednesday’s high of 58 mills/KWh. The midweek spike came before PV No. 3 went off line later that day on account of a leaky oil seal—the same trouble that kept the unit out of service a month ago. By the end of the week the price settled at between 71.25 mills and 75.50 mills/KWh. Night-time power ranged from a low of 31.25 mills/KWh in Tuesday trading to a high of 49.50 mills/KWh the fol-lowing day.

Peak-time power north of Path 15 opened Tuesday at 64.50 mills/KWh, about what it closed at last week. The spread this week in Northern California ranged from 64.50 mills to 73.50 mills/KWh. Daytime power scheduled for delivery next week moved for as much as 69.50 mills/KWh on Friday. Off-peak power opened the week trading for as much as 50 mills/KWh, but generally spent most of the week in the vicin-ity of 40 mills/KWh.

Mid-Columbia power managed to stay relatively close to last week’s costs. On Tuesday, Northwest power was moving for between 46.25 mills and 50.50 mills/KWh and stayed close to that range the rest of the week before peaking at 51 mills/KWh on Friday. Off-peak power traded for between 28.50 mills and 38 mills/KWh on Tuesday before bumping up to 43 mills/KWh the following day [Shauna O’Donnell].

Gas Costs Continue to Climb

Peak winter demand for natural gas is still months away, yet the price of the commodity appears to be well entrenched in the mid-$7 range in much of the country. The price in the West this week managed to stay mostly in the high $6 range, but refused to drop below that mark.

Much of the intractability is attributable to the continuing escalation in the price of crude oil, which hit $61.60 in Friday trading. Wary traders also are carefully watching developments in the Gulf of Mex-ico. Hurricane season has begun and the shut-in gas could also push natural gas costs higher this summer.

The price of gas at the Southern California border topped out at $7.00 early in the week before slip-ping to $6.35/MMBtu at the end of the week. PG&E CityGate gas also dipped, but not as much. After topping out at $7.025/MMBtu on Wednesday, the price dropped to $6.71/MMBtu on Friday [S. O’D.].

Western Electricity Prices
Week of July 4 - 8, 2005
Hub Peak (heavy) Off-peak (light)
Alberta Pool (C$) 7.43-45.69 8.22-27.36
Mid-Columbia 46.25-51 28.50-43.50
COB 52-60 32-44.25
NP 15 59.75-73.50 31.50-50
SP 15 58.75-80 31-50.50
Palo Verde 62.50-90.50 31.25-49.50

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

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