Alberta’s weighted average Power Pool Price for March is currently $224.04/MWh. Relative to February’s month-end price of $126.17/MWh, this represents an increase of $97.87/MWh or 77.6%. A new highest daily settle of the year occurred on March 7th, reaching a high of $363.46/MWh. While extreme weather warnings subsided, hourly demand remained elevated and placed upward pressure on pricing. Furthermore, extremely low levels of wind generation (e.g., the weekly average was 10-15% of capacity) continues to cause prices spikes in the market. Generator outages over this past week also contributed to market volatility, with outages occurring at Genesse 1 & 3, Battler River 4 & 5, as well as Shepard Energy Centre. When the province relies heavily on natural gas generation, and several baseload generators are offline, prices increase.

The weighted average Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) is settling at 2.7¢/kWh so far for the month of March, representing a 0.5¢/kWh or 18.7% decrease over last week’s settle. The primary driver of this price decline is the decrease in demand across the province, causing the grid’s need for demand response to diminish. Natural gas-burning generation decreased by 27.3% (1830MW) over the course of this past week. Baseload generation, such as nuclear and hydro, lowered their output to an average of 8226MW (-0.5%) and 4358MW (-5.2%), respectively. Wind and solar increased week-over-week output (+114.2%; 1604MW, +16.9%; 74MW, respectively), whereas biofuel decreased (-10.0%; -60MW). With the first Global Adjustment estimated at 7.0¢/kWh, March’s total market price is settling at 9.7¢/kWh as of today.

– Mark Ljuckanov, Energy Advisor / Clara Birch, Energy Data Analyst

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