Alberta’s weighted average Power Pool price for February is currently $213.95/MWh, as cold weather continues to have an extreme impact on hourly pricing. While we typically expect volatility to subside and prices to decrease over the course of a weekend, this has not been the case recently; prices averaged $130.95/MWh this past weekend. Starting on the 16th, volatility altered its usual trend of an early morning start and relief in the evening, as prices remained volatile throughout the night; prices from 12am MST to 6am MST averaged $131.87/MWh, compared to the rest of the month where the prices averaged $61.49/MWh for the same period. Demand has slowly started to subside as, over the past two days, there was only one hourly period in which the demand was over 11,000MW, tied to the gradual rising of temperatures. Contributing to the market instability were intermittent outages at Sheerness 1, HR Milner, Keephills 2 and 3, and Sundance 6.
The weighted average Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) is currently at 3.7¢/kWh for February, an increase of 1.2¢/kWh or 48% compared to last week’s settle. With demand increasing and supply staying flat, along with a heavier reliance on natural gas and increases in natural gas prices, there have been strong upward pressures on HOEP. This past week, demand increased 1% (17,105MW), while supply remained stable (17,901MW) compared to average February levels. The supply mix has shifted toward expensive, dispatchable sources, with natural gas providing strong injections to the grid (+31%, 2,328MW) and nuclear decreasing its baseload (-4%, 9,218MW). Most other generating sources have decreased their supply: wind (-30%, 1,669MW), hydro (+2%, 4,581MW), solar (+2%, 62MW), and biofuel (+52%, 43MW). Currently, with the first Global Adjustment estimated at 9.8¢/kWh and the first recovery rate estimated at 0.6¢/kWh, February’s total market price is 14.1¢/kWh.
– Mark Ljuckanov, Energy Advisor / Sarah Clemente, Energy Data Analyst