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AM Power Report: Dailies look for support from load forecasts

Followinga move higher in theprevious session, powerdailies could notch gains Thursday, July 21, driven by expectationsfor firm to elevated demand across the bulk of the country at the close of theworkweek, but limited by ongoing losses at the natural gas futures complex.

Followinga 7.0-cent loss inthe prior session, August natural gas was last seen trading 1.5 cents lower at$2.643/MMBtu.

Lookingat demand, forecasts suggest steady to higher load in much of the country atthe close of the workweek, even as business-related demand typically wanesapproaching the weekend break.

Inthe Northeast, outlooks indicate rising load, as demand in New England is seenpeaking at 19,800 MW on Thursday and 22,110 MW on Friday, while load in NewYork is called to reach 26,549 MW on Thursday and 28,239 MW on Friday. Farthersouth, the PJM Interconnection expects firm to stronger demand, as PJM Westernregion demand is projected to hit a high at 76,155 MW on Thursday and 76,196 MWat the end of the business week, while PJM Mid-Atlantic load is forecast totouch a high near 48,617 MW on Thursday and 51,046 MW on Friday.

Inthe Midwest, load forecasts reflect little change day on day, as demand in thePJM AEP region is expected to top out at 21,509 MW on Thursday and 21,472 MW onFriday, while load in PJM ComEd is projected to see highs at 21,236 MW onThursday and 21,271 MW on Friday.

Inthe South, load in ERCOT could decline as it is called to crest at 67,927 MW onThursday and 67,530 MW at the close of the workweek.

Inthe West, CAISO demand should near 40,991 MW on Thursday and 42,063 MW onFriday, which should counter downside pressure on power prices in the regionThursday as participants book revised partly weekend parcels forFriday-Saturday delivery.

Inforward trade, weakness prevailed in price activity for August power deliveryWednesday, as the downdraft at the natural gas futures arena implied cheaperfueling costs for power generators.

Inthe East, front-month power values fell by more than $2 at NEPOOL-Mass and slidby nearly 90 cents at PJM West to indexes in the high $30s, as power prices forSeptember ran through the low $30s at both hubs.

Inthe Midwest, losses of more than $1 at the PJM markets steered price action forprompt-month power to the high $30s at the AD hub and to the mid-$30s at theNorthern Illinois hub, as a near 40-cent decline took MISO Indiana August to anindex approaching equal value with PJM AD August. Looking ahead, power valuesfor September were pegged in the low $30s overall.

Inthe South, the ERCOT markets saw power parcels for August shed almost $2 acrossthe board in transactions averaging in the low to mid-$70s, while powerpackages for delivery further out to September were seen changing hands in thehigh $20s to the low $30s.

Inthe West, trades for August power deflated by around 80 cents to indexes in thehigh $30s at both North Path-15 and South Path-15 in California, as similardeals at Mid-Columbia and Palo Verde gave back almost $2 to average in the high$20s and in the mid-$30s, respectively. Further out, power transactions forSeptember were carried out in the mid- to high $30s in California and in themid- to high $20s elsewhere in the region.

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Market prices and included industry data are currentas of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailedmarket data, including power andnatural gasindex prices, as well as forwards and futures, visitour Commodities Pages.