Western Price Survey
July 8, 2005
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.].
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