Daily power markets across the country kicked off theworkweek Monday, Aug. 14, in different directions, with hubs in the East and Midwest climbing with load forecasts but West values going the other way.
After closing the previous week with a scant loss, the front-month September natural gas futures contract reversed an early uptick and closed the session at $2.959/MMBtu, down 2.4 cents. At spot gas markets, packages at most locations favored gains and gave a boost to power dailies.
In other supply, total U.S. nuclear plant availability hit its highest point so far this summer season at 99.60% early Aug. 14
Supportive fundamentals lift Eastern power markets
Daily power prices in the East moved higher Monday as traders took into account increasing Tuesday demand and rising spot gas prices.
At next-day markets, the New England Mass hub saw trades climb by roughly $10 from Aug. 11 and span the low $30s, while PJM West deals were up by about $4 and were done in the low to mid-$30s.
Trading for higher-load weekday delivery, day-ahead values rose. Power prices at New York Zone A surged by roughly $15 and averaged $35.44 while deals at the Mass hub, New York Zone G and New York Zone J increased by $8 to $11 on the session and averaged $33.63, $33.28 and $34.11, respectively.
Load is set to rise as the workweek unfolds, with demand in New England possibly reaching 19,140 MW on Monday and 20,100 MW on Tuesday, while New York load should touch 23,713 MW on Monday and 24,647 MW on Tuesday. The PJM Mid-Atlantic region should see peaks of 41,286 MW on Monday and 43,662 MW on Tuesday, while the PJM Western region could see highs of 62,051 MW on Monday and 65,977 MW on Tuesday.
Midwest dailies start workweek supported by load, rising gas prices
On-peak power prices in the Midwest ticked higher Monday amid a combination of strong load forecasts and an increase in spot gas prices. Most of the session's action was MISO Indiana where power packages added about $10 from Aug. 11 and ranged in the mid-$30s.
Demand in the region is expected to rise. Load in the PJM AEP region should top out at 18,665 MW on Monday and 19,692 MW on Tuesday, while demand in the PJM ComEd region may crest at 15,633 MW on Monday and 16,015 MW on Tuesday.
West values ease with slack fundamentals
Pressures from lower spot gas prices and deflated load forecasts led daily power prices in the West, with the exception of Mid-Columbia, lower on Monday.
The California ISO is calling for demand to run up to 35,741 MW on Monday and 33,536 MW on Tuesday. Following the load outlook, North Path-15 and South Path-15 deals were down $2 to $4 on the session and ranged in the low $30s.
Hubs in the Southwest posted a decline of less than a dollar with packages at Palo Verde traded in the mid- to high $20s, while Mead transactions ranged in the low $30s.
Mixed moves were seen in the Northwest with Mid-Columbia deals up less than $1 in the mid-$20s, while the California-Oregon Border saw dailies shed about a dollar in the high $20s.
Texas values deflate despite load support
Strong load outlooks and higher gas prices could not keep day-ahead markets in Texas from notching losses on Monday.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is projecting peaks of 65,857 MW on Monday and 67,468 MW on Tuesday. However, day-ahead deals still tumbled with ERCOT North, ERCOT South and ERCOT West trades down by $1 to $3 to averages of $30.42, $30.72 and $29.15, respectively, while ERCOT Houston transactions eased by less than $1 and averaged $35.84.
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, natural gas and coal index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities Pages.