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Western Price Survey

Week's End Edition
November 5, 2010
Western Electricity Prices Mixed

Prices for daytime power in the West ended the trading period with losses, while average nighttime electricity prices uniformly charted gains.

South of Path 15 average peak-power prices lost about $4 in the six trading days ending Friday, Nov. 5, to close at $35.19/MWh. SP15 recorded the week's high for spot prices among Western hubs at $38/MWh.

California-Oregon Border daytime power traded for an average of $33.22/MWh Friday, losing about $1.35/MWh versus the Oct. 29 average price.

Palo Verde peak power lost about $1.75/MWh throughout the period, trading for an average of $31.50/MWh Friday.

Meanwhile, Mid-Columbia posted an average price of $30.50/MWh for daytime power Friday, dropping about a dollar during the trading period.

North of Path 15 posted no trades Friday, nor Thursday, Oct. 28. For the Wednesday-to-Wednesday trading period, the hub gained $2.67. The average price Thursday, Nov. 4 was $35.81/MWh.

In contrast, off-peak power prices gained between about $1.15 and $2.95 by week's end. Average prices for nighttime power ranged between about $27/MWh and $30/MWh (see chart below).

NP15 posted no trades for nighttime power for two of the last five trading days.

Peak demand on the Cal-ISO grid reached 33,637 MW Thursday at 4 p.m., the week's high. Demand throughout next week is not expected to exceed 30,200 MW.

At peak production, California renewables provided 7.75 percent of system power on the Cal-ISO grid over a 24-hour period Tuesday, Nov. 2. Of the 49,927 MWh generated, 23,035 MWh came from geothermal sources, 7,244 MWh was supplied by biomass generation, and an additional 6,732 MWh was contributed by small-hydro sources.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a 67 Bcf addition to natural gas reserves provided a total of 3.821 Tcf in storage as of Oct. 29, the eighth consecutive week of greater year-over-year storage builds.

The agency said it appears these higher storage levels may continue through November due to warmer weather and greater natural gas production; however, the five-year average indicates there will be a net withdrawal during the month, according to the EIA.

Henry Hub spot prices traded at $3.35/MMBtu on Wednesday, Nov. 3, down 2 cents from the previous Wednesday. By Friday, the average price was $3.47/MMBtu. December futures traded for $3.84/MMBtu Wednesday, up 7 cents from Oct. 27.

What's ahead: Meteorologists project some rain and mixed temperatures next week for the Western U.S. Western Washington should be dry Tuesday through Thursday, with some light rain expected late Thursday or Friday. Temperatures in the Seattle area should be in the 50s throughout the week. Rain is expected for Portland Tuesday and Wednesday. Beyond Wednesday, forecasters expect temperatures to stay in the 50s. The greater San Francisco area should stay in the 60s most of the week, reaching 67 degrees by Thursday. The Los Angeles area expects warmer weather in the mid-60s Monday through Wednesday, jumping to 75 degrees by Thursday [Linda Dailey Paulson].

Western Electricity Prices
Week's End: November 1 - 5, 2010
Hub Peak (heavy) Off-peak (light)
Alberta Pool (C$) 17.44-36.33 15.90-26.68
Mid-Columbia 26-32 22-28
COB 31-34.50 24.25-31
NP 15* 34-37.75 35.65-38.60
SP 15* 35-38 25-29.75
Palo Verde 30-34 22-27.50

* 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 webmaster@newsdata.com with questions or comments about this site.

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

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