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Western Price Survey

July 24, 2015
Weather Toys with Western Prices

Weather played with pricing trends across the West this week, as portions of California experienced a relative deluge from the remnants of a tropical storm and Oregon cooled from 90-degree-plus weather.

Peak demand early in the week bested levels in the previous week. Cal-ISO demand reached 40,167 MW July 20, which should prove the week's high. Northwest Power Pool demand was 59,235 MW July 20, which should be the week's high.

San Diego and Los Angeles were among roughly a dozen California cities with record rainfall this week. San Diego received a record 1.03 inches on July 18 alone, breaking the single-day record of 0.83 inches set July 25, 1902.

Downtown Los Angeles had 0.36 inches of precipitation July 18, breaking the July full-month record of 0.24 inches from July 1886. Los Angeles International Airport had 0.32 inches of rain, tying the July record set in 1992.

Farther north, Portland has seen 18 days of 90-plus-degree weather this year, which is as many as in 1953 through 1957 combined, according to the National Weather Service.

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Average peak power prices in the West varied in the July 17 to July 24 trading period. Palo Verde added 70 cents to $31.50/MWh, while California-Oregon Border dropped $5.65 to $28.25/MWh. Average daytime prices finished the trading week from $25.80 at Mid-Columbia to $38.55/MWh at South of Path 15.

Off-peak power saw similar movement, with Palo Verde up 60 cents to $26/MWh and Pacific Northwest hubs falling roughly $4.80 over the trading week. Average nighttime prices July 24 ranged from $20.30 at Mid-Columbia to $32.90 at South of Path 15. North of Path 15 posted no trades throughout the week.

Meanwhile, working gas in storage reached 2,828 Bcf as of July 17, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates, a net increase of 61 Bcf from the previous week. Storage levels are now 28.2 percent greater than a year ago and 2.9 percent greater than the five-year average.

Natural gas for power generation increased 3.4 percent, or 1.1 Bcf/d, during the week. Consumption reached a high for the year to date July 20 at 36.6 Bcf/d, noted the EIA.

Henry Hub gas spot values added a penny in Thursday-to-Thursday trading, ending at $2.91/MMBtu July 23. Western natural gas prices were similarly flat [Linda Dailey Paulson].

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 Chris Raphael, editor with questions regarding Price Survey content.

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