Bloomberg News

Eastern Wholesale Power Gains Amid Unusually Cold Weather

April 03, 2013

Wholesale electricity prices on three Eastern U.S. grids climbed as a cold snap boosted power needs at households and businesses.

On-peak power prices in New England, New York and across the 13-state grid operated by PJM Interconnection LLC are trading at their highest prices for this time of the year since 2008, data from the grid operators show. Temperatures will be below normal across most of the regions through the rest of the week, according to WSI Corp. in Andover, Massachusetts.

On-peak electricity at PJM’s benchmark Western Hub, which includes prices from Pennsylvania to Washington, rose $8.72, or 22 percent, to $48.65 a megawatt-hour at 10 a.m. from yesterday’s average of $39.93, the highest price since March 25, according to the grid operator. On-peak hours run from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. PJM’s territory runs from New Jersey to North Carolina and into Illinois.

New York City prices gained for a fifth day, rising $10.18, or 19 percent, to $65.04 a megawatt-hour from yesterday’s on- peak average, the highest price since March 22, according to the New York Independent System Operator Inc.

Spot power on the six-state grid from Connecticut to Maine climbed $14.21, or 27 percent, to $66.47 a megawatt-hour, ISO New England Inc. data showed.

The high temperature in Baltimore today may be 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius), 11 below normal, and New York City today will be 10 lower than the usual reading at 46 degrees, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Boston’s high may be 56 degrees, 5 below normal.

Power Demand

Electricity usage across PJM surged to 101,694 megawatts at 7:30 a.m. today, 4.8 percent above the grid operator’s peak- demand forecast for today of 97,068 also for the same time.

Power consumption in New York City was 6,230 megawatts at 9:05 a.m., 1 percent higher than yesterday’s forecast of 6,170 for the hour, data from the grid operator show. The NYISO forecast showed demand today would peak at 6,315 megawatts from 11 a.m. to noon, below the previous day’s high of 6,407 megawatts reached during the hour ended at 1 p.m.

ISO New England expects demand on its six-state grid to peak at 16,610 megawatts from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., little changed from yesterday’s high of 16,604 megawatts reached during the same hour.

To contact the reporter on this story: Naureen S. Malik in New York at nmalik28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net


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