Alberta’s weighted average Power Pool price for April is currently $94.03/MWh, representing an increase of $3.32/MWh or 3.7% relative to last week’s settle of $90.71/MWh. April continues to experience elevated levels of volatility, which is a risk En-Pro anticipated coming into 2021. Planned generator outages at Keephills 2 and Sheppard Energy Centre, which combine for a total capacity of 1,263MW, are tightening the supply cushion. This, along with extended outages of major generation facilities, brings inherent risk of continued market instability. Over the past week, a number of facilities experienced multi-day outages, including Keephills 1, Sheerness 1, Battle River 4, Battle River 5, Sundance 4 and HR Milner, all of which have since come back online. In October 2020, a similar situation was experienced, when the interties were down due to planned maintenance and the province experienced higher than expected seasonal pricing.
The weighted average Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) is currently at 0.7¢/kWh for the month of April, unchanged compared to last week’s settle. Demand and supply have both decreased at a similar pace (-2%, 13,415MW and -1%, 14,495MW, respectively). Nuclear has slightly increased its baseload (+3%, 8,847MW) and biofuel has also increased its supply (+54%, 33MW), while all other generating sources have lowered their supply levels: gas (-2%, 252MW), hydro (-4%, 3,954MW), wind (-16%, 1,272MW), and solar (-7%, 109MW). Currently, with the first Global Adjustment estimated at 6.1¢/kWh and the first estimate recovery rate at 0.8¢/kWh, April’s total market price is 7.6¢/kWh.
In other electricity news, a price cap for electricity rates is unlikely for Ontario’s latest stay-at-home order. Instead, the province is focusing on targeted relief for customers who need it most, and is encouraging eligible customer to apply to the COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business (CEAP-SB). CEAP-SB provides a one- time, on-bill credit up to $1,500 for eligible customers. In January 2021, eligibility criteria was updated so that more customers could qualify. Eligible customers include those who have an active account with an electricity distributor (General Service less than 50 kW rate class), a unit sub-meter provider (commercial class that uses less than 150,000 kWh of electricity annually) or a natural gas distributor (non-residential customer that uses less than 50,000 cubic meters of gas annually); must have a registered business or charity number; and must have overdue bills since March 17, 2020. Eligible customers are encouraged to apply through their utility or unit sub-meter provider.
– Mark Ljuckanov, Energy Advisor / Ryan Cosgrove, Energy Data Analyst / Sarah Clemente, Energy Data Analyst