Bloomberg News

Power Prices Drop on Northeast U.S. Grids Amid Cooler Weather

September 17, 2013

Spot wholesale electricity dropped in the Northeast as demand fell below forecasts amid cooler-than-normal weather.

Power consumption slipped below day-ahead forecasts in New England, New York and on the 13-state network managed by PJM Interconnection LLC, according to their websites. Entergy Corp. (ETR:US) raised output at a Massachusetts nuclear reactor after shutting it for repairs last week, boosting Northeast generating supply. PJM prices were little changed near a seven-month low.

A slow-moving cold front will keep temperatures below normal across the regions over the next few days, said WSI Corp. in Andover, Massachusetts. The high in Manhattan today may be 67 degrees Fahrenheit (19 Celsius), 8 below normal, and Washington may be 9 lower than average at 70 degrees, data show from AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Spot prices for New York City slid $4.71, or 13 percent, to average $30.19 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 10 a.m. from the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed. Boston fell $7.41, or 19 percent, to $30.76.

New York traded at a discount of 57 cents to Boston after fetching an average on-peak premium of $3.23 yesterday.

Entergy increased production at the Pilgrim 1 reactor, about 4 miles (6 kilometers) east of Plymouth, to 75 percent of capacity from 45 percent yesterday, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission filings.

Nuclear Plant

The plant was connected to the grid Sept. 15 after personnel completed a small steam leak repair associated with the unit’s feed water system, Carol Wightman, a spokeswoman at the plant, said in an e-mail yesterday. The reactor’s summer capacity is 685 megawatts, Energy Information Administration data show.

Nuclear output rose in the PJM region, which serves more than 60 million people from Washington to Chicago. Exelon Corp. boosted output at the Limerick 2 reactor, about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia, to full capacity from 95 percent yesterday, NRC filings show. The reactor’s summer capacity is 1,150 megawatts, according to the EIA.

Spot power at PJM’s benchmark Western hub was little changed, averaging $30.04 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 10 a.m. versus $29.98 the same time yesterday. The on-peak average yesterday was $30.01, the least since Jan. 29. On-peak hours are Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.

The grid operator cut its peak-demand forecast for today to 90,265 megawatts, down 2.8 percent from the day-ahead projection. Power use peaked at 93,366 megawatts yesterday.

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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