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Western power prices ended the Sept. 17 to Sept. 24 trading period lower as demand remained relatively static throughout the week.

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Cooler weather, rampant wildfires, and natural gas production shut in by hurricanes combined over the past week to confuse Western energy prices. There was no unified pattern in either power or natural gas price movements over the Sept. 10 to Sept. 17 trading period.

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It could be expected that record heat forecast through Sept. 7 across the West would give regional prices a uniform boost in anticipation of higher demand, but that scenario hadn’t played out yet as of Sept. 4.

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The continuation of an extreme heat wave across the western United States caused energy prices and demand to soar between Aug. 13 and 20. It also sparked Palo Verde daytime power to post two consecutive days of record high prices.

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With an excessive-heat warning and heat advisories issued across the western United States, the anticipation of higher demand bolstered regional energy prices with the potential for prices to trend higher still as the heat persists.

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In addition to ongoing storage restrictions across the Southern California Gas Co. system, transmission in the region was constricted by pipeline outages that exerted pressure on prices.

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Renewables curtailments on the California Independent Operator System grid are always a hot summertime topic; however, during the COVID-19 pandemic, conventional demand and energy-use patterns are no longer readily comparable.

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Warm weather across the United States during the first half of July could translate into greater demand and a boost to natural gas markets, but the specter of COVID-19 looms.

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Western energy prices lifted as weather conditions modulated to seasonally normal temperatures, with triple-digit highs posted in portions of Arizona and the San Joaquin Valley the week of June 22.

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Natural gas prices at the benchmark Henry Hub reached a low of $1.38/MMBtu June 16, the lowest price since December 1998 "in nominal terms," according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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Pacific Northwest nighttime power prices retreated underwater with ample hydro generation in the region. Mid-Columbia off-peak power spent most of the May 28 to June 4 trading period in negative pricing territory. The hub dropped $7.65 in trading, ending at minus 50 cents/MWh June 4. The day…

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As Pacific Northwest hydro generation continued increasing the week of May 18, Mid-Columbia pricing went underwater and Columbia Generating Station reduced generation to compensate.

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With a return to seasonally normal conditions across the West, energy demand and prices fell as the week progressed.

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Warm weather across the West this week prompted a continued, gradual increase in power demand for cooling, which lent support to regional peak power prices.

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In recent weeks, California Independent System Operator demand has been softened by state stay-at-home orders; however, usage this week climbed as the week progressed, mirroring rising temperatures.

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Demand and market uncertainty continued weighing on Western energy prices as the temporary unavailability of Aliso Canyon storage threw one more spanner in the works for regional natural gas markets.

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California energy demand and prices edged up this week after falling in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, reversing the trend and demonstrating that the only constant in the current market is change. Also worth noting, the demand peak shifted back to Monday this week, after previously…

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The latest measurement of the California snowpack shows it is below average for this time of year, potentially affecting hydroelectric power and the severity of the upcoming wildfire season.

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After a lengthy out-of-service period that caused frustration with some system users, it appears major repairs of Southern California natural gas distribution infrastructure might be nearing completion.

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The advent of cooler weather, with possible rain and snow forecast across the West, sent regional energy prices higher at the end of Nov. 14 to Nov. 21 trading. Both power and natural gas prices trended upward as temperatures decreased throughout the week.

With "near-record injection activity" in the April 1 to Oct. 31 natural gas refill season, the national natural gas inventory recovered from low levels at the end of the 2018-2019 heating season, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The EIA estimates working natural gas i…