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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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The continuation of an excessive 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 system, transmission in the region was constricted by pipeline outages that exerted pressure on prices.

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Renewables curtailments on the California ISO grid are always a hot summertime topic. However, in the COVID-19 era, 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 moved 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," the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

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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 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 ISO demand has been softened by state stay-at-home order, but the latest usage climbed as the week progressed, mirroring rising temperatures, with demand increasing by almost 21 percent between April 19 and April 23.

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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 the Southern California natural gas distribution infrastructure might be nearing completion.

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Western energy prices generally trended lower in the Dec. 5 to Dec. 12 trading period, while Western natural gas prices eroded between 4 and 19 cents, with the Malin and Opal trading hubs posting the greatest loss, down 19 cents each to $2.51/MMBtu and $2.48/MMBtu by Dec. 12.

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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.

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With "near-record injection activity" in the April 1 to Oct. 31 natural gas refill season, the U.S. 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 in st…

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