West demand remained relatively flat over the weekend, averaging 7.5 Bcf/d Saturday - Monday, flat to Friday and is forecast to remain below 8 Bcf/d through the two week forecast. The CAISO has reported a drop in hydroelectric generation over the past week, averaging 100.7 GWh/d, a decline of nearly 10 GWh/d from the prior week and well-below the recent peak of 120 GWh/d on April 11. The Diablo Canyon Unit 1 went offline Sunday, April 23 for a refueling stint expected to last for 34 days and coinciding with the Palo Verde Unit 2 ramp down. Combined, the previous nuclear plants may provide roughly 458 MMcf/d of gas equivalent consumption. West demand has averaged 8.1 Bcf/d this month-to-date, down from last year by 0.5 Bcf/d and the five year average by 1.2 Bcf/d as Southwest power burn has driven the lion's share of the declines.
Several major planned maintenances on Algonquin this week will limit capacity by up to 1 Bcf/d on certain days. Two separate one-day outages are planned for April 25 and April 27 at the Stony Point compressor station. Both periods will see capacity reduced to 840 MMcf/d during the outage, down from a design capacity of nearly 1.84 Bcf/d. Separately, a planned outage is scheduled at the Burrillville compressor for April 26 and 27, which will see capacity there reduced to 620 MMcf/d, down from a design capacity of 988 MMcf/d. The outages will put a significant constraint on northbound flows into New England, while also choking one of the primary outlets for Northeast PA production, leading to likely production cuts as a result. Limited supply access into New England will put upward pressure on spot pricing at Algonquin Citygates and Tennessee Zone 6, as Tennessee will likely back-fill supplies into Algonquin via the TGP-Mendon interconnect located downstream of the restriction. In addition to the heavy restrictions on its planned service outage list, Algonquin on Friday also issued notice of a two-week outage starting in early May that will limit Burrillville capacity by about 620 MMcf/d.
Driven by economics, Public Service Co. of New Mexico plans to exit all of its coal-fired generation by 2031, according to a draft integrated resource plan released last week. PNM owns 2,323 MW and contracts for 468 MW of renewables. In the near term, the resource plan focuses on one of the largest power plants in the West, the 1,800-MW San Juan generating station near Farmington, New Mexico. PNM has already agreed to retire two San Juan units totaling 837 MW at the end of this year to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's regional haze rule. After the units shut down, PNM and an affiliate will own 562 MW in the two remaining units while Tucson Electric Power will own 170 MW and three public power entities will own 116 MW. Under PNM’s proposed plan, the plant’s last two units would retire when a coal contract ends on June 30, 2022. Capacity factors for PNM's San Juan Generating Station have been on a downward trend since 2005. Based on the most recent full years' worth of generation data from the Energy Information Administration, utilization at the facility averaged 63% in 2016, up from about 56% in 2015. With 924 MW of capacity from two of the four generating units set to retire at the end of this year, the lost capacity is expected to boost gas demand for power burn in the Southwest region in 2018 by 323 MMcf/d compared to if the units were to stay online.