Aug. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Wholesale electricity prices gained from New York to Texas and Los Angeles as unusually hot weather spurred consumers to crank up their air conditioners.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. expects demand on the main state grid to peak at 65,190 megawatts today, the most since Aug. 9. PJM Interconnection LLC, which operates the 13-state grid serving more than 60 million people from the East Coast to the Midwest, and operators for the Northeast and California grids reported demand was coming in above their day- ahead forecasts.
The high temperature in Dallas today may reach 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 Celsius), 8 above normal, and Los Angeles may be 10 higher than the average at 95 degrees, data show from AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Washington may top the average by 4 degrees at 89 and Chicago may be 11 above normal at 91.
“You are getting a pop, but it’s going to be short-lived because of the weekend and then we have Monday off,” said Stephen Schork, president of Schork Group Inc., a consulting group in Villanova, Pennsylvania. “It’s been a very cool August. It has not been a great summer. A lot of utilities that ran peaking units are going to have a tough time.”
Spot power for Boston jumped to an average of $307.87 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 4 p.m. from the day- earlier average of $32.46, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed. During the hour, demand surged above ISO New England Inc.’s projections after it had been coming in lower most of the day.
New York City rose $24.88, or 49 percent, to $75.30 a megawatt-hour at 4 p.m. from a day earlier.
New York City on-peak power traded at a discount of $11.84 versus Boston from a premium of $13.74 yesterday.
PJM’s benchmark Western hub, including Washington, rose $4.80, or 7 percent, to average $73.31.
While a surge of late-summer heat bolstered prices this week, spot electricity at these three Eastern U.S. hubs are trading at their lowest averages for any August going back to at least 2006, based on available historical data.
Texas is seeing the highest temperatures this week in more than three weeks. Prices at Ercot’s North hub, which includes deliveries to Dallas, increased $6.79, or 14 percent, to $53.94 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 3 p.m. local time.
Hotter weather is boosting power consumption in California as the state continues to battle multiple wildfires, including the one that started near the Yosemite National Park on Aug. 17.
Spot prices at Southern California’s SP15 hub, serving Los Angeles and San Diego, were up 68 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $81.70 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 1 p.m. local time.
The premium for southern California’s power versus the northern region widened to $15.69 from $3.63 yesterday. The NP15 hub, which includes San Francisco, gave up earlier gains, dropping $8.17, or 15 percent, to $46.94.
Northern California prices have swung between gains and losses as the fires have reduced access to low-cost hydroelectric generation. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has spent about $783,000 to replace power from two hydroelectric plants shut because of the fires since Aug. 19, according to a statement today.
--Editors: Bill Banker, Charlotte Porter