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AM Power Report: Dailies could ascend with load prospects in week's closer

Editor's Note: Please be advised that S&P Global Market Intelligence will no longer publish daily articles on price trends in the U.S. natural gas, electricity and emissions markets beginning June 1, 2018. Pricing data for these energy markets will continue to be available on the Market Intelligence platform.

Power dailies could end the workweek higher Friday, May 18, in line with mostly rising post-weekend demand outlooks.

Natural gas will also remain on traders' radars. Gaining 4.4 cents in prior-trading day, NYMEX June natural gas futures were aimed slightly lower early Friday. At 6:45 a.m. ET, the contract was down just 0.5 cent at $2.854/MMBtu on light profit-taking.

Most grid operators see stronger load at the start of the next workweek May 21, as business-related demand typically rebounds coming off the weekend break.

In the Northeast, demand in New England is expected to top out at 13,060 MW on Friday and 15,100 MW on May 21, while load in New York is forecast to hit highs at 16,572 MW on Friday and 18,864 MW at the start of the next business week. To the south, PJM Western region load should near 48,539 MW on Friday and 54,219 MW on May 21, while PJM Mid-Atlantic demand is called to reach 30,077 MW on Friday and 37,836 MW on May 21.

In the Midwest, demand in the PJM AEP region is seen peaking at 15,163 MW on Friday and 17,408 MW on May 21, while load in PJM ComEd is poised to see highs at 11,312 MW on Friday and 11,563 MW on May 21.

In the South, Texas demand could touch a high near 63,057 MW on Friday and 57,842 MW at the return of the workweek, bucking the dominant uptrend.

In the West, load in California is projected to crest at 27,462 MW on Friday and 25,822 MW on May 19 but should retrace higher May 21 amid returning business-related demand coming off the weekend.

In forward trade, June power had a mixed showing May 17.

In the East, pricing for month-ahead power was about 60 cents stronger on the day in the high $20s to the low $30s in New England and roughly 20 cents higher in the low to mid-$30s at PJM West. Power values for July were pegged in the high $30s to the low $40s at both hubs.

In the Midwest, PJM AD June was off 40 cents day on day in the mid-$30s, while prompt-month power assessed in the low $30s was down 20 cents on the day at PJM Northern Illinois but up almost 40 cents at MISO Indiana. July power was marked in the high $30s to the low $40s.

In the South, a better-than-$3 gain drove front-month power deals at ERCOT North to the low $60s, as hub activity for July power spanned the low $130s.

In the West, power prices for June delivery were unchanged in the high $10s at Mid-Columbia but were about 30 cents weaker in the high $30s at Palo Verde and were in the low to mid-$30s at South Path-15. Along the forward curve, power parcels for July were quoted in the low $30s at Mid-Columbia, in the high $40s at Palo Verde and in the low $50s at South Path-15.

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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.