Alberta’s weighted average Power Pool Price for January is currently $149.26/MWh. Relative to last week’s price of $113.36/MWh, this is an increase of $35.90/MWh or 31.7%. Despite the mild weather, price volatility has increased in the past few days. Daily prices of $289.64/MWh and $276.72/MWh occurred on the 10th and 11th, respectively, primarily attributed to decreased availability of renewable generation. Hourly demands have remained within the same range as last week, reaching 11,229MW, just a 0.5% increase from last week’s peak of 11,168MW. In the past week, there were two generator outages at Keephills 3 and Battle River 4.
The weighted average Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) is settling at 4.0¢/kWh so far for the month of January, representing a 0.3¢/kWh or 7.5% increase over last week’s settle. The primary driver of this step-up in price is the increased use of demand response generators, which are typically expensive natural gas-burning ones. Natural gas-burning supply increased by 28.5% (2158MW) over the course of this past week. Baseload generation, such as nuclear, decreased output to an average of 9695MW, a 204.45MW or 2.1% decrease compared to last week. Hydro-based generation, on the other hand, increased output, climbing 1.5% to an average of 4817MW. Solar and biofuel increased week-over-week output (+48.1%; 22MW, +58.6%; 42MW, respectively), whereas wind generation fell (-6.5%; -1083MW). With the first Global Adjustment estimated at 3.1¢/kWh, January’s total market price is settling at 7.1¢/kWh as of today.
In other news, Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has begun work on their new small modular reactor (SMR) at their Darlington plant in Clarington, Ontario. What’s being touted as the first SMR in Canada for well over a decade is slated to come online in early 2028. The new SMR is expected to contribute ~300MW of clean electricity to the grid, enough to power 300,000 homes. This comes as Ontario pushes to generate more cleaner electricity, with a goal to procure over 4000MW through SMRs. Ontario currently has 15 nuclear reactors in operation through the province, the highest in Canada, along with three reactors currently under refurbishment at three separate sites, providing over 50% of the province’s clean electricity.
– Ryan Cosgrove, Energy Data Analyst / Clara Birch, Energy Data Analyst