Record and above-normal heat sent Western energy prices higher, with Pacific Northwest daytime power price highs surpassing the $100 mark June 2.
The Portland airport reached 95 degrees Fahrenheit June 1, which eked past the 1970 record of 94 F. Farther north, Seattle temperatures hit 86 F and 85 F the first two days in June—the highest temperatures during that period since 1979 and the third-highest since records began being kept in the 1890s, according to the National Weather Service.
Above-normal temperatures persist in Arizona and California, but the hottest day of the year to date is forecast to occur in Phoenix June 4.
California Independent System Operator demand reached 34,468 MW June 3, which should be the week's high. This is a 15-percent increase in demand compared with the previous report-period peak of 29,970 MW recorded May 24.
Total renewables on the grid peaked at 18,465 MW May 29, which met roughly 69 percent of the day's demand.
Northwest daytime power prices peaked June 2 when California-Oregon Border peak power reached $124.50/MWh and Mid-Columbia daytime power reached $115.40/MWh. In May 27 to June 3 trading, Western daytime prices gained as much as $21.80. Palo Verde peak power added $21.80 to reach $50.80/MWh.
Off-peak prices diverged, with South of Path 15 posting a $5.10 gain to $37.20/MWh while northwest nighttime power values dropped about a dollar.
Markets were closed Monday, May 31, in observance of Memorial Day.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said average California natural gas consumption for power generation rose 50 percent week over week and exceeded 2.2 Bcf per day on June 2—the greatest amount recorded for the start of June since 2016.
Constraints on El Paso Natural Gas pipelines supplying Southern California Gas Co. pushed prices higher. SoCal CityGate natural gas posted the greatest price increase in trading, adding 63 cents to reach $4.12/MMBtu.
Henry Hub natural gas values gained 17 cents to end at $3.02/MMBtu June 3.
National working natural gas in storage was 2,313 Bcf as of May 28, according to EIA estimates, a net increase of 98 Bcf compared with the previous week.
In May, the average high peak price at Henry Hub was $3/MMBtu, $1.05 more than in 2020, when the price was $1.95/MMBtu.
Western natural gas values increased year over year with SoCal Border and Malin prices adding slightly more than a dollar year over year, while PG&E CityGate values rose 13 cents to $3.07/MMBtu.
Average Western peak power prices for May were also higher compared with the year prior. Mid-C gained the most value year over year, up $31 in May to $51.90/MWh. Unlike the prior year, low prices in May did not dip below $10/MWh.