Boston Power Declines as Demand Falls Below Day-Ahead Forecast

Jan 29, 2014 4:19 pm ET

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Spot wholesale electricity prices in Boston reversed earlier gains and fell as demand slid below expectations.

Power use on the ISO New England Inc. network averaged 17,257 megawatts at 3:30 p.m., a 2.7 percent drop from the day- ahead forecast of 17,730, the grid’s website showed.

The temperature in Boston was 26 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 3 Celsius) at that time, 5 degrees above yesterday’s high, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Spot prices in Boston declined 22 percent to average $218.37 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 3 p.m. from the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

New York City prices more than doubled to average $592.05 a megawatt-hour at 3 p.m., the grid data showed.

New York on-peak power traded $145.88 above Boston, compared with a premium of $10.72 yesterday and a three-month average discount of $11.02 for New York.

Spot prices jumped periodically today to more than $800 a megawatt-hour in New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, creating bigger swings than yesterday, the website of the PJM Interconnection LLC grid showed.

Later, mid-Atlantic and Texas prices reversed gains and fell.

Spot prices at PJM’s benchmark Western hub, which includes Washington, slid 41 percent to average $146.56 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 3 p.m. from the same time yesterday. Prices at the Eastern hub, which includes New Jersey, declined 56 percent to average $159.85.

PJM West on-peak power traded $18.02 below the Eastern hub, compared with a discount of $104.92 yesterday and a three-month average discount of $10.25 for PJM West.

Texas

In Texas, prices at the North hub, which includes Dallas, fell 8.4 percent to average $36.24 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 2 p.m. local time from the same time yesterday, while Houston hub prices declined 7.4 percent to average $36.24, the grid data showed.

Cold weather this week across the eastern half of the U.S. was caused by a burst of arctic air that also triggered ice and snow storms in the South and sub-zero temperatures throughout the Midwest.

--With assistance from Naureen S. Malik in New York and Michael Buteau in Atlanta. Editors: Charlotte Porter, Bill Banker