- Spot gas prices in Southern California surged 8% today to $7.08/MMBtu as the region turned to gas-fired generation to cope with the ongoing heatwave while power imports dropped.
- Relevant tickers include SRE, EIX, PCG
- California ISO's thermal power demand has spiked in the days since the start of the West Coast heat wave, with generation ramping up 58% to 331 GWh on June 28 from 210 GWh on June 26, 2021.
- Yet even as total power demand rose, power imports into the state fell 36% to 85 GWh on June 28 from 133 GWh on June 26.
- The National Weather Service forecasts the upper-level high-pressure system responsible for the heat wave could weaken by July 1.
What would the "power imports" be? Wind energy? Coal?
In 2019, California was the nation's largest net importer of electricity from out of state and received about 28% of its electricity supply from generating facilities outside the state.
More than seven-tenths of the power delivered to California from states in the Pacific Northwest was from renewable energy sources, including large federal hydroelectric facilities.
The Southwest, including energy imports from Arizona, Baja California, Colorado, Mexico, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah, delivered power generated from renewables, natural gas, nuclear energy, coal, or other, unspecified, resources.
Slightly more than one-fourth of the southwestern power came from renewable sources.
About 10% of California's total electricity imports are from coal-fired power plants, but coal's total contribution to the state's electricity supply from imports and in-state generation in 2019 was less than 3%.
Electricity supplied from out-of-state coal-fired power plants decreased following the enactment of a state law in 2006 that requires California utilities to limit new long-term financial investments in baseload generation to power plants that meet California emissions performance standards. Essentially all of California's imports of coal-fired generation are projected to end by 2026.