Midwest Power Prices Jump as Demand Advances Above Forecast

Dec 19, 2013 4:14 pm ET

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Spot wholesale electricity prices in the Midwest rose as a blast of cold air boosted consumption above expectations.

Power use on the Midcontinent Independent System Operator’s network averaged 80,010 megawatts at 3:20 p.m. New York time, compared with the day-ahead forecast of 79,296 megawatts, according to the grid’s website.

The high temperature today in Minneapolis may reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 7 Celsius), 17 below yesterday and 6 lower than the historical average, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Spot prices at MISO’s Indiana hub, a regional benchmark, advanced 19 percent to average $30.31 a megawatt-hour for the period ended at 1 p.m. local time from the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show. Minnesota hub prices jumped 30 percent to average $30.38 a megawatt-hour.

MISO absorbed territory in four new states today with the integration of Entergy Corp.’s southern transmission system. The move adds 18,000 miles (29,000 kilometers) of transmission lines and about 40,000 megawatts of generating capacity in Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and southeastern Texas to the Carmel, Indiana-based grid operator’s footprint, which now stretches from Manitoba in Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Most of Texas is powered by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. grid.

NYC Prices

New York City spot prices slid 14 percent to average $37.45 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 3 p.m. local time from the same period yesterday, while Boston prices declined 42 percent to average $53.19, grid data show.

New York on-peak power traded $106.86 below Boston, compared with a $106.42 discount yesterday and a three-month average discount of $11.57.

In the mid-Atlantic states, spot prices at PJM Interconnection LLC’s benchmark Western hub, which includes Washington, fell 10 percent to average $30.32 a megawatt-hour at 3 p.m. from the same time yesterday. Prices at the Eastern hub, which includes New Jersey, slid 5.6 percent to average $47.13 a megawatt-hour.

PJM West on-peak power traded $17.98 below the Eastern hub, compared with a $16.74 discount yesterday and a three-month average discount of $4.48.

--Editors: Charlotte Porter, Richard Stubbe