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Western Price Survey

Week's End Edition
September 3, 2010
Western Prices Rise Slightly

As the West recovered from a heat wave in late August, average daytime prices started the week about $10 to $27/MWh lower than prices posted Monday, Aug. 23.

For the six trading days ending Friday, Sept. 3, North of Path 15 and South of Path 15 saw minimal gains of $1.28 and 25 cents/MWh for average peak power. NP15 ended trading Friday at an average of $34.08/MWh for daytime power. SP15 recorded about $33.39/MWh.

Mid-Columbia peak power traded for an average of $36.51/MWh Friday, down 71 cents from the previous Friday. California-Oregon Border daytime power traded for an average of $38.66/MWh Friday, down $1.40 from the previous Friday.

At Palo Verde, peak power traded for an average of $32.72/MWh Friday, down 83 cents from the previous week.

Because of the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Sept. 6, Friday trades were marked for Tuesday delivery. None of the hubs save for SP15 recorded any trades for peak power Thursday, Sept. 2.

For off-peak power, Western hubs lost value throughout the week as well. Palo Verde recorded the greatest loss for off-peak power of almost $3/MWh, closing at $22.40/MWh.

Off-peak power at Northwestern hubs managed to end the week in the black for the six-day trading period; nighttime prices for the two hubs were up between about $1.30 and $1.40/MWh.

Peak demand on the Cal-ISO grid was forecast to reach 42,058 MW on Friday at 5 p.m., which should be the week's high.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a 54 Bcf addition to natural gas inventories provided a total of 3.106 Tcf in storage as of Aug. 27. Inventories are now 169 Bcf greater than the five-year average.

Henry Hub spot prices traded at $3.73/MMBtu on Wednesday, Sept. 1, down from the $3.99 price recorded the previous Wednesday, according to the EIA. The average price on Friday was $3.74/MMBtu.

September gas futures contracts for Henry Hub expired Friday, Aug. 27 at $3.65/MMBtu, according to the EIA. Futures lost 24 percent, or $1.18/MMBtu, through the month.

What's ahead: A low-pressure system off the West Coast brings cooler temperatures throughout the week ahead. Cooling starts Monday in Seattle with rain predicted, while Tuesday through Thursday, Seattle expects partly sunny conditions and temperatures in the mid-to-high 60s. Showers are forecast for Portland Monday through Thursday, with highs in the low 70s. That same system depresses temperatures in San Francisco through at least Tuesday, but a warming trend is expected for the San Francisco Bay Area starting Thursday. Los Angeles-area temperatures should start cooling Monday or Tuesday. Meanwhile, warming is expected for inland Southern California beginning Thursday or Friday [Linda Dailey Paulson].

Western Electricity Prices
Week's End: August 30 - September 3, 2010
Hub Peak (heavy) Off-peak (light)
Alberta Pool (C$) 17.13-176.05 8.09-29.74
Mid-Columbia 34.25-41.50 20.50-26
COB 36-43.80 21.25-28
NP 15* 32-38.50 22.50-28.25
SP 15* 32.25-39 21.75-27
Palo Verde 31-36.75 20-27

* 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.

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.

Please contact with questions or comments about this site.

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

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