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Seasonal hydroelectric output drives down wholesale electricity prices in the West

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TODAY IN ENERGY: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Seasonal hydroelectric output drives down wholesale electricity prices in the West

Increased hydroelectric output in the Pacific Northwest drove daily, on-peak prices of electricity below $10 per megawatthour in late April at the Mid-Columbia trading point on the border of Washington and Oregon. The availability of low-cost hydropower in the West also depressed prices at the California-Oregon border and helped offset prices that were up in northern California as a result of nuclear outages. High levels of hydroelectric output are a seasonal occurrence in the Pacific Northwest, with significant effects on electric power markets from Washington to California.

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