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Western Price Survey

August 28, 2015
Renewables Output High

Solar power production continues to shine in California, having reached a record peak of 6,408 MW Aug. 21 to surpass the prior 6,376 MW high recorded the day prior. Total renewable-energy production on the Cal-ISO grid reached 11,048 MW Aug. 21, which was almost 31 percent of peak demand for that day.

The grid operator also reported a new instantaneous solar peak of 6,446 MW was set Aug. 21, which surpassed the previous record of 6,391 MW recorded Aug. 20.

San Diego Gas & Electric reached a record 1,042 MW of renewable generation Aug. 19. This does not include the energy produced by 61,000 SDG&E rooftop-solar customers.

Demand peaked on the Cal-ISO grid at 45,442 MW Aug. 27. The Northwest Power Pool reached a high of 58,682 MW that same day, but the week's high use of 60,032 MW was expected Aug. 28.

Average peak power prices varied nominally in the trading week. Mid-Columbia posted the largest loss, down $3.15 to $27.30/MWh by Aug. 28. Average daytime prices ranged from $27.30/MWh at Mid-C to $36.25/MWh at South of Path 15.

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Nighttime power prices proved less variable, with hubs gaining between 10 cents and $2.65/MWh. Palo Verde added $2.65 to reach $26/MWh. At the end of the trading week, prices ranged from $23.20/MWh at Mid-C to $32/MWh at SP15.

The grid operator continues monitoring the Rough Fire in Fresno and Tulare counties, as it still poses a threat to transmission lines. A 70 kV, a 115 kV and a set of 230 kV lines went out of service around the Balch and Haas powerhouses and remain out, according to Cal-ISO. Roughly 25 Pacific Gas & Electric customers remain without power in the Balch area.

Steven Greenlee, senior public information officer for Cal-ISO, said the grid operator has not reported any loss of load. "We just reconfigured the grid to work around the outage and prepared for the next level of contingencies."

The fire in the Sierra National Forest was sparked July 31 by lightning or natural causes. It covered 60,238 acres as of Aug. 28 and was 25 percent contained [Linda Dailey Paulson].

Archives of the Western Price Survey for the past year are also available online.

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

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