Western Price Survey
Week's End Edition
Western power prices jumped on Friday, July 12, buoyed by natural gas values and the promise of higher demand and warmer weather in the region over the coming week.
Daytime prices in the Northwest gained roughly $8/MWh, while off-peak values shot up between $18 and $19/MWh in the July 5 to July 12 trading period. Portland expects a high of 84 °F on July 15, while Seattle could break 80 °F July 16.
Here's how average peak prices in the West fared since last Friday:
California hubs posted no off-peak trades July 5. Off-peak values July 12 ranged from $30.60/MWh at Mid-C to $41/MWh at SP15.
Meanwhile, working gas in storage reached 2,687 Bcf as of Friday, July 5, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates, a net increase of 82 Bcf from the previous week, which met market expectations. Storage levels are now 14.2 percent less than a year ago and 0.8 percent below the five-year average.
"The market remains well supplied ahead of the hottest months of the year," noted Barclays analysts in their weekly commodities report, "with production still on the rise and the year-over-year storage deficit firmly on a downward trajectory."
Barclays analysts still expect 3.8 Tcf of natural gas in storage by the conclusion of storage season. The injection season runs through the end of October.
Henry Hub natural gas values gained 8 cents since last Friday, trading July 12 at $3.61/MMBtu. Western prices also moved higher, with Malin gas climbing 19 cents to $3.50/MMBtu and Ruby-Malin adding 17 cents to $3.50 in the trading period. PG&E CityGate gas traded roughly even at $3.76/MMBtu by Friday, while Southern California Border added 4 cents to $3.73 in the trading period.
Peak demand on the Cal-ISO grid reached 42,759 MW Tuesday, which was the week's high according to the grid operator. Northwest Power Pool demand reached 59,070 MW Tuesday.
What's ahead: Above-normal temperatures are expected in Washington and Oregon between July 17 and July 21, according to the National Weather Service. Normal temperatures are forecast for California and Arizona during that same period, with the entire region forecast to have seasonally normal temperatures between July 19 and July 25 [Linda Dailey Paulson].
* 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.
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