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Spain spot power tumbles on windy outlook

Source: Reuters - Wed 5th Jan 2011

Iberian prompt wholesale power prices fell hard on Tuesday due to forecasts supplies of cheap wind power were about to climb and force some costlier gas-fired plants to lie idle.

Omel, the spot unit of the Iberian Electricity Market (Mibel), set the day-ahead "pool" price at 35.35 euros per megawatt-hour, dropping from 45.59 euros on Monday.

Wind power in Spain, the world's fourth-largest producer, was set to leap as high as 8,800 megawatts by 8 p.m. local time on Wednesday, when demand reaches a peak, from 4,030 MW at midday on Tuesday, according to national grid operator REE.

Producers expect wind power to rise again on Thursday, just as demand can be expected to fall due to a public holiday in Spain, both factors which may weigh on the pool when Omel next sets it on Wednesday morning.

The pool, a benchmark for over-the-counter trading, is now 35.6 % below a 23-month high of 54.91 euros/MWh set for Dec. 11.

Seven of Spain's eight nuclear power stations were running normally and generating 6,483 MW between them, or 16.2 % of total demand, data from REE and nuclear watchdog CSN showed.

The 1,000 MW Almaraz II reactor is disconnected from the grid for refuelling and due to return later this month.

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