Alberta’s weighted average Power Pool Price for March is currently $191.52/MWh, relative to last week’s price of $224.04/MWh, results in a decrease of $32.52/MWh or 14.5%. While there hasn’t been extreme or extended volatility over this past week to push prices up, daily average Pool prices are elevated and have averaged $154.23/MWh, preventing the monthly Power Pool price from dropping significantly. Over the past week, there has been only one day, March 13th, where prices settled below $100/MWh, at an average of $91.89/MWh. Conversely, only one day this past week, March 11th, settled over $200/MWh at an average of $201.11/MWh. Intermittent outages at Sheerness 1 and Battle River 4 contributed to high priced intervals. This past week’s wind generation increased relative to the week prior, contributing to suppressed market volatility. Looking at the rest of the month, temperatures are forecasted to be within the normal range with productive wind speeds and sunny skies, boding well for power generation from renewables and lending support for expectations that the March Power Pool price will continue its trend downward and average between $123.50/MWh and $138.00/MWh.
The weighted average Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) is settling at 2.7¢/kWh so far for the month of March, representing no change over last week’s settle. Electricity demand decreased slightly across the province, causing the grid’s need for demand response to diminish. The natural gas burning generation supply decreased by -2.0% (1,618 MW) over the course of this past week. Baseload generation, including nuclear, fell this past week, decreasing its output to an average of 8,375MW, a -42 MW or -0.5% decrease compared to last week. Hydro-based generation on the other hand increased output, climbing 1.2% to an average of 4,382MW. This makes sense, as larger hydroelectric stations typically release water from their reservoirs completely by the end of March in anticipation of the spring thaw, also known as the freshet, that will refill them. In turn, wind, solar, and biofuel decreased their output this past week, falling -0.1% or 1,581 MW, -4.0% or 81 MW and -14.9% or 48 MW, respectively. With the first Global Adjustment estimated at 7.0¢/kWh, March’s total market price is currently settling at 9.7¢/kWh as of today.
– Mark Ljuckanov, Energy Advisor / Clara Birch, Energy Data Analyst