Wednesday, October 17, 2007

NEI's Energy Markets Report - October 8 - 12, 2007

Here's a summary of what went on in the energy markets last week:

Except for SP 15, electricity peak prices fell $3-12/MWh at the hubs listed below. SP 15 increased only $0.04/MWh. Fall temperatures normalized by the end of the week for the country which sent prices declining. Even though PJM West’s prices fell by more than $3/MWh, the hot weather in the region at the beginning of the week kept prices 10% higher than the four week average and 26% higher than the last 52 week average (see pages 1 and 3).

Gas prices at the Henry Hub rose from $6.54/MMBtu to $6.70/MMBtu. Gas prices are expected to increase as winter approaches and hit a seasonal peak of $8.27 per MMBtu in January 2008 (EIA’s STEO, see pages 1, 3 and 5).

Estimated nuclear plant availability fell to 82 percent last week with no reactors beginning refueling outages. Three reactors (San Onofre 3, Susquehanna 1 and Waterford 3) were down for planned maintenance. Palo Verde 2 was off-line due to a leak in its coolant system and Browns Ferry 1 scrammed due to a failure of a transmitter associated with a moisture-separator reheater (see pages 2 and 4).

Uranium spot prices rose for the first time in 16 weeks by $3 to $78/lb U3O8. According to UxC, “the presence of motivated sellers and the absence of have-to buyers contributed to the recent price decline” over the past four months (see pages 1 and 3).

The number of planned coal plants to begin operation by 2011 fell by about 2,700 MW. Last month’s planned coal capacity stood at 16,694 MW versus this week’s update of 13,999 MW. The drop in planned coal capacity can be attributed to uncertainty about carbon regulation in the state and federal governments (see page 5).
For the report click here. It is also located on NEI's Financial Center webpage.

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