Western Price Survey
November 21, 2014
Western power prices remained mixed this week, although natural gas prices in the region got a boost following the first withdrawal of the winter.
Working gas in storage reached 3,594 Bcf as of Nov. 14, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates, a net decrease of 17 Bcf from the previous week. Storage levels are now 5.3 percent less than a year ago and 6.4 percent less than the five-year average.
This is the first net withdrawal of the 2014-2015 heating season, and it was greater than market expectations, which were 13 Bcf. The amount of natural gas withdrawn from Western inventory was 7 Bcf, which was 6 Bcf greater than its five-year average, according to the EIA.
Natural gas consumed for power burn during the agency's report period grew 23 percent compared to the previous week, with growth in all regions save the Rockies.
Natural gas values rose, with Henry Hub gas spot values adding 23 cents since last Thursday to trade Nov. 20 at $4.41/MMBtu. Western natural gas prices moved higher in Thursday-to-Thursday trading. Hubs gained between 10 and 38 cents, led by Malin, which added 38 cents to $4.57 Nov. 20.
Meanwhile, Western peak power prices were mixed by the end of Friday-to-Friday trading. Palo Verde added $3.20, ending at $40.50/MWh; Mid-Columbia lost $3.90 in the trading period, ending at $38.40/MWh. By Nov. 21, average daytime prices ranged from $38.40/MWh at Mid-C to $51/MWh at both South and North of Path 15.
North of Path 15 trading was confined to a single day for peak power Nov. 21.
Off-peak prices were also mixed. SP15 was up $2.60 to $41.80/MWh. Mid-C values lost $2.90 to $29.75/MWh. Average nighttime prices Friday were between $29.75/MWh (Mid-C) and $41.80/MWh (SP15).
Peak demand on the Cal-ISO grid reached 30,018 MW on Nov. 19, according to the grid operator. Northwest Power Pool demand reached the week's high of 60,718 MW on Nov. 17.
Renewable-energy production on the Cal-ISO grid reached 8,697 MW on Nov. 15. Solar production peaked at 4,401 MW on Nov. 17. At the Bonneville Power Administration, wind production over the week was relatively flat [Linda Dailey Paulson].
Archives of the Western Price Survey for the past year are also available online.
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