Power Prices Drop From Minnesota to New York as Demand Declines

Feb 13, 2014 4:01 pm ET

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Spot wholesale electricity fell from the Midwest to the Northeast as higher temperatures reduced demand below expectations and power imports from Canada were stronger.

Power use on the Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. network, which stretches from Canada to the Gulf Coast, averaged 81,615 megawatts at 3:10 p.m. New York time, below the day-ahead forecast of 82,490 megawatts, according to the grid’s website.

The high temperature today in Indianapolis may reach 37 degrees Fahrenheit (3 Celsius), 7 above yesterday’s high, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Spot power at the Indiana hub, a regional benchmark for the Midwest, slid $114.47, or 78 percent, to average $31.57 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 2 p.m. local time from the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show. Minnesota hub prices declined $124.40, or 74 percent, to average $44.37.

New York City spot power slid $114.03, or 59 percent, to average $79.79 a megawatt-hour at 3 p.m. local time from the same time yesterday, while Boston prices gained $36.60, or 21 percent, to average $213.29.

“The load is down because it is warmer,” Matthew Oatway, a Boston-based analyst for Genscape Inc., said in an electronic message. “We’re seeing much stronger imports from Ontario and Quebec, which is because those regions have warmed up so their demand is down.”

New York on-peak power traded $72.23 below Boston, compared with a premium of $26.18 yesterday and a three-month average discount of $17.26 for New York.

PJM West

At PJM Interconnection LLC’s benchmark Western hub, which includes Washington, spot power declined $79.82, or 62 percent, to average $49.51 a megawatt-hour at 3 p.m., while prices at the Eastern hub, which includes New Jersey, slid $32.55, or 22 percent, to average $115.54.

PJM West on-peak power traded $15.62 below the Eastern hub, compared with a discount of $26.24 yesterday and a three-month average discount of $12.05 for PJM West.

In Texas, spot power at the North hub, which includes Dallas, slid $12.60, or 28 percent, to average $32.99 a megawatt-hour at 1 p.m. local time from the same time yesterday, while Houston hub prices fell $12.98, or 28 percent, to average $32.96.

Load in the Texas market “is running weaker this morning, which is helping to keep prices depressed,” John Typadis, a Genscape analyst who also is based in Boston, said in an electronic message. “Additionally, aggregate wind generation was running strong early on, further helping to keep a lid on pricing.”

--Editors: Richard Stubbe, Charlotte Porter