Alberta’s weighted average Power Pool price for January is currently $47.18/MWh. Compared to last week’s price of $47.03/MWh, this represents a marginal increase of $0.15/MWh or 0.3%. We continue to experience market volatility, but not to the extent which would significantly impact monthly prices. Daily peaks have been kept to one occurrence over the past few days. For example, on the 18th prices hit $110.00/MWh at 6pm MST, on the 19th prices reached $76.37/MWh at 7pm MST and, finally, prices spiked to $120.94/MWh at 6PM MST on the 20th. It is clear the evening is when most of the single peak periods occur in the province. Most generators are only experiencing intraday outages, helping to minimize volatile periods. The main outliers to this are Keephills 1, which was offline from the 15th until the 20th, and Battle River 4, which has been offline since the 17th. With the absence of extreme weather, excluding the wind warnings in the past few days, demand levels have been suppressed.

The weighted average Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) is currently at 1.7¢/kWh for the month of January, a decline of 0.2¢/kWh or 11% compared to last week’s settle. Slightly milder temperatures this week, along with less reliance on natural gas, helped to ease prices. With weather factored in, demand stayed flat (15,991MW) relative to average January levels, while supply to the grid increased by +1% (16,515MW). The supply of gas dropped 19% (1,141MW), while nuclear’s contribution to the grid remained stable (9,887MW), and wind and solar increased their supply (+44%, 977MW; +4%, 22MW). Remaining generating sources decreased their supply: hydro (-1%, 4,456MW) and biofuel (-5%, 32MW). Currently, with the first Global Adjustment estimated at 8.6¢/kWh and the first recovery rate estimate of 0.5¢/kWh, January’s total market price is 10.8¢/kWh.

In other electricity news, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) recently isolated its Unit 3 reactor from the remaining three operating units at the Darlington Nuclear site. The removal will allow for work to be completed on Unit 3, which is scheduled to last 311 days, and is part of the Darlington Refurbishment Project that will enable the four Candu reactor units to operate until 2055. The refurbishment of Darlington 3 began in September, following a four-month postponement due to COVID-19. The Darlington Refurbishment Project is scheduled for completion by 2026.

– Mark Ljuckanov, Energy Advisor / Ryan Cosgrove, Energy Data Analyst / Sarah Clemente, Energy Data Analyst

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