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AM Power Report: Dailies could ascend with load outlooks, gas

Day-ahead power values could rise Wednesday, Oct. 4, as predominantly stronger demand forecasts for the latter part of the workweek join forces with a renewed uptick in natural gas futures.

Losing 2.1 cents in the Oct. 3 session, November natural gas futures were moving higher early Wednesday ahead of the opening bell. At 6:30 a.m. ET, the front-month contract was up 2.3 cents on short covering.

Day-ahead natural gas prices at the major consuming hubs could see mixed to higher moves at midweek, drawing support from any sustained gains in futures on the day.

Looking at demand, load projections for the latter part of the workweek are varied with a dominant upside bias.

In the Northeast, demand in New England is seen peaking at 15,350 MW on Wednesday and 15,700 MW on Thursday, while load in New York is called to reach 18,830 MW on Wednesday and 19,276 MW in the latter part of the business week. Farther south, PJM Western region load is poised to buck the broad uptrend as it is forecast to hit highs at 53,926 MW on Wednesday and 52,762 MW on Thursday, while PJM Mid-Atlantic load should near 31,559 MW on Wednesday and 35,183 MW on Thursday.

In the Midwest, demand in the PJM AEP region could top out at 16,448 MW on Wednesday and 16,821 MW on Thursday, while load in PJM ComEd could also run against the wider advance to see highs at 13,341 MW on Wednesday and 11,972 MW on Thursday.

In the South, Texas demand is forecast to crest at 54,385 MW on Wednesday and 55,004 MW in the latter part of the workweek. In the West, California load is projected to touch a high near 30,250 MW on Wednesday and 31,565 MW on Thursday.

In forward trade, the price of power for November delivery favored the upside overall Oct. 3 despite ongoing weakness at the natural gas futures arena that kept fueling costs deflated.

In the East, prompt-month power values climbed by 70 cents to almost $34 in New England and rose by about 80 cents to near $32 at PJM West. Farther along the forward curve, power pricing for December spanned the low to mid-$50s in New England and the mid- to high $30s at PJM West.

In the Midwest, transactions for November power added roughly 50 cents to average close to $30 at PJM Northern Illinois, as similar deals ascended by around 90 cents to indexes at almost $33 at PJM AD and $34 at MISO Indiana. Power trades for December were carried out in the low to high $30s overall.

In the South, price action for month-ahead power at the ERCOT markets were boosted by about 20 cents to indexes ranging roughly from $20 to $29. Regional pricing for December power delivery was likewise spread in the low to high $20s.

In the West, November power trades tacked on roughly $1 in California to $38 at North Path-15 and $35 at South Path-15, while front-month power deals were bolstered by almost 70 cents to an index close to $24 at Mid-Columbia and lifted by about 90 cents to an index atop $26 at Palo Verde. Trading activity for December power across the region ranged from the high $20s to the high $30s.

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Market prices and included industry data are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailed market data, including power and natural gas index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities Pages.