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Most Midcontinent Independent System Operator wholesale power prices in July surged to levels more than twice July 2021 levels, driven by heavier peakloads, stronger natural gas prices and a month-to-month decrease in wind output, and September forwards averaged in triple digits, more than 2.5 times year-ago levels.
Day-ahead on-peak locational marginal prices in July averaged in a range of the mid-$70s/MWh to more than $110/MWh across the 15-state footprint that stretches from Canada to the Gulf Coast, S&P Global Commodity Insights price data shows. In July 2021, those prices were all in the low to mid-$40s/MWh. In June, they ranged ranged from the mid-$60s/MWh to more than $115/MWh.
Driven by high temperatures, peakloads averaged 104.9 GW in July, up 5.5% from June's 99.4 GW and up 2.4% from July 2021's 102.4 GW, according to MISO data collected by S&P Global.
July's population-weighted average cooling-degree days were 42% higher than June's and 15.3% higher than July 2021's CDDs, CustomWeather data shows. Population-weighted temperatures averaged 75.6 F in July, up 4.9% from June's 72.1 F and up 1.9% from July 2021's 74.2 F.
At the Chicago city-gates, spot gas averaged $6.816/MMBtu in July, down 8.1% from June's $7.42/MMBtu but up almost 89% from July 2021's $3.608/MMBtu. Henry Hub spot gas averaged $7.104/MMBtu in July, down 7.7% from June's $7.694/MMBtu but up by more than 87% from July 2021's $3.795/MMBtu.
Despite higher gas prices, MISO's gas-fired generation average daily output surged to almost 785.5 GWh in July from June's 691.3 GWh and July 2021's 609.6 GWh. This was enough for the gas fleet to have a share of more than 39% in July, up from 37.5% in June and less than 32% in July 2021.
Power burn was also strong, averaging 4.9 Bcf/day in July, up from less than 4.4 Bcf/d in June and less than 4 Bcf/d in July 2021.
The coal fleet also produced at higher levels in July, averaging 754.7 GWh/d in comparison with June's 691.3 GWh/d and July 2021's 609.6 GWh/d, representing shares of 37.6%, 33.7% and 44.5%, respectively.
Nuclear power came in third, producing 252.2 GWh/d in July, down slightly from June's 253 GWh/d and down substantially from July 2021s 265.5 GWh/d, representing shares of 12.6%, 13.7% and 6.5%, respectively.
MISO's wind fleet output was down on the month but up on the year, producing 167.3 GWh/d in July, compared with June's 253 GWh/d and July 2021's 124 GWh/d, representing shares of 8.3%, 11.8% and 6.5%, respectively.
In forward markets, September power and gas packages were down on the month but up sharply from what September 2021 packages averaged in July 2021.
For example, Indiana Hub September on-peak power averaged about $120.25/MWh in July, down 2.6% from $123.50/MWh in June but more than 170% higher than the $44.50/MWh that the September 2021 package averaged in July 2021.
Louisiana Hub September on-peak power averaged more than $112/MWh in July, down 2.8% from about $115.35/MWh in June but up 162.5% from the $42.70/MWh that the September 2021 package averaged in July 2021.
Chicagocity-gates September gas averaged $6.842/MMBtu in July, down 5.7% from June's $7.255/MMBtu but up 88.9% from the $3.623/MMBtu that September 2021 gas averaged in July 2021.
Henry Hub September gas averaged $7.102/MMBtu in July, down 6.2% from June's $7.57/MMBtu but up 87.2% from the $3.793/MMBtu that September 2021 gas averaged in July 2021.
Despite higher gas forwards, Platts Analytics forecasts MISO gas-fired generation to produce at levels equivalent to 532.5 GWh/d in September, up 22.4% from September 2021 levels, which, assuming similar heat rates, would have MISO's gas fleet burning almost 3.9 Bcf/d in September.
The National Weather Service on July 21 forecast enhanced chances – 33% to 50% -- for above-normal temperatures in August, September and October across virtually all of the MISO footprint.