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Western Price Survey

Week's End Edition
November 12, 2010
Western Electricity Prices Static

Daytime power prices were mixed this week, with nominal movement in either direction.

There was no trading Thursday in observance of Veterans Day. Trades posted Nov. 10 were scheduled for delivery Nov. 13.

In the Friday-to-Friday trading period from Nov. 5 to Nov. 12, Palo Verde peak power climbed about $1.25/MWh, to trade at an average of $32.75/MWh Friday.

Mid-Columbia posted an average price of $31.14/MWh for daytime power Friday, gaining about 65 cents during the trading period. Meanwhile, California-Oregon Border daytime power traded for an average of $33.32/MWh Friday, a gain of 10 cents compared with the Nov. 5 average price.

South of Path 15 average peak-power prices lost less than a dime in Friday-to-Friday trading. Daytime average power prices at SP15 closed at $35.11/MWh.

North of Path 15 posted no trades Friday, Nov. 5. For the Wednesday-to-Wednesday trading period, the hub lost about a dollar. The average price Friday, Nov. 12 was $35.08/MWh. The hub recorded the week's high for spot prices among Western hubs at $39.75/MWh.

Similarly, off-peak power prices were almost static by week's end, with a maximum gain of $1.30 posted by Mid-C. Average prices for nighttime power ranged between about $28/MWh and $30.85/MWh (see chart below).

Peak demand on the Cal-ISO grid hit 30,753 MW Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 5 p.m., the week's high At peak production, California renewables provided 11.15 percent of system power on the Cal-ISO grid over a 24-hour period Monday, Nov. 8. Of the 68,359 MWh generated, 23,520 MWh came from geothermal sources, 20,955 MWh from wind, 7,866 MWh was supplied by biomass generation, and an additional 7,431 MWh was contributed by small hydro sources.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a 19 Bcf addition to natural gas reserves provided a total of 3.84 Tcf in storage as of Nov. 5. This addition was 6 Bcf less than the 25 Bcf injection last year at this time. This is the first time in nine consecutive weeks that the weekly storage amount has not exceeded the five-year average; however, the agency reported that the working gas in storage surpassed last year's 3.837 Tcf, which had been a record level.

Henry Hub spot prices traded at $3.76/MMBtu Nov. 9, up 41 cents from the previous Wednesday. By Friday, the average price was $3.50/MMBtu. December gas futures closed Friday at $3.80, according to Bloomberg, down 13 cents from Thursday.

What's ahead: Seattle should see showers Monday, while a cold front from the Gulf of Alaska is expected to reach the Pacific Northwest by Wednesday. Current extended regional forecasts are iffy past Wednesday. Meteorologists say this system might open the region to an influx of colder Canadian air by midweek. Portland temperatures should be around 50 degrees Tuesday through Thursday, with the greater San Francisco area in the high 60s for that same period. The Los Angeles area is expected to have dry, warm weather into late next week, with highs in the low 70s [Linda Dailey Paulson].

Western Electricity Prices
Week's End: November 8 - 12, 2010
Hub Peak (heavy) Off-peak (light)
Alberta Pool (C$) 11.60-543.08 10.72-39.10
Mid-Columbia 29.75-36.50 26-32.75
COB 32-38.25 27.50-34.25
NP 15* 34.50-39.75 29.50-33.25
SP 15* 33-39.50 25-30.50
Palo Verde 31.75-37 23-29

* 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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