Going by the numbers: Markets drive new wholesale, retail highs

By Pam Boschee, Managing Editor

Last year’s turbulent markets made their mark on EL&P’s operating performance report. For example, the top 10 sellers of wholesale power showed a 23 percent increase in their average wholesale rate (from $30 per MWh in 1999 to $37 in 2000) while the top 10 purchasers shelled out an average $52 per MWh, an increase of 33 percent (see Tables 1 and 2) when compared to the 1999 data.

Utilities in the West showed the largest increases in their average wholesale sales rates as a group: Pacificorp went from $29 per MWh in 1999 to $58 in 2000; Avista, $26 to $55; PSC of Colorado, $30 to $51; and Portland General Electric, $25 to $58. Puget Sound Energy showed the most dramatic leap, tripling its 1999 $27 per MWh to $83 in 2000, the highest average of the top 25 sellers.

Average purchase costs per MWh also increased most for this western group overall: Southern California Edison increased from $69 per MWh in 1999 to $95 per MWh in 2000 (the highest average of the top 50 purchasers); Pacificorp, $30 to $69; Avista, $26 to $60; PSC of Colorado, $34 to $58; and Portland General Electric, $22 to $44.

One factor contributing to these increases was the drop in hydro generation from the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) due to drought conditions. Table 3 shows BPA’s net generation at about 88 million MWh, reflecting an 11 percent decrease from 98 million MWh produced in 1999.

Table 3 ranks companies by net generation MWh. Note EL&P’s first-time inclusion of the total utility retail rate (last column). Los Angeles Department of Water & Power holds the top slot on this rate with $103 per MWh, followed by Southern California Edison at $101; Pacific Gas & Electric, $97; PECO Energy, $96; Connecticut Light & Power, $94; and Niagra Mohawk Power, $92.

Table 4 lists cost profiles for generators in 2000. This year, EL&P included more companies, including co-ops and companies such as Alcoa Power Generating as additional points of comparison.

For clarification, note that “A&G” in Table 4 column headers refers to administrative and general.

Tables 5 and 6 show the top 50 steam-electric and nuclear plants, respectively. Listed in descending order of demonstrated capacity, the plants’ rankings by production cost ($ per MWh) are indicated by the numbers in the first column of each table.

Table 7 lists the top 50 steam-electric plants in terms of heat rates.

Resource Data International’s (RDI) POWERdat contains more than 120 files containing more than 6,000 individual items from more than 80 data sources, including Megawatt Daily prices. POWERdat contains more than 6,500 companies, more than 3,000 operating plants and unit level operational detail on more than 11,000 individual generating units. Data enhancements allow investigation of embedded costs, monthly power plant generation costs, key financial and operational data, and load and resource planning. Visit www.ftenergy for additional information.

Click here to view Tables 1-7.
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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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