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Essential Energy Insights - October 2021


AM Power Report: Dailies could vary with load prospects, gas

Power dailies could have a mixed showing Tuesday, Oct. 17, as jumbled demand forecasts for midweek combine with the recent volatility in natural gas futures.

Declining more than 5 cents in the prior trading day, November natural gas futures at the NYMEX were rebounding higher early Tuesday ahead of the opening bell. At 6:50 am ET, the front-month gas futures contract was up 5.1 cents to trade at $2.997/MMBtu.

Day-ahead natural gas markets could see mixed moves Tuesday, in line with the recent choppy action in the futures arena.

On the demand side, load outlooks for midweek are aimed in diverging directions at major market centers around the country.

In the Northeast, grid operators anticipate stronger load, as demand in New England is seen cresting at 14,650 MW on Tuesday and 14,820 MW on Wednesday, while load in New York is called to reach 18,165 MW on Tuesday and 18,285 MW on Wednesday.

In the Mid-Atlantic, softer load is in store, as demand in the PJM Western region is forecast to peak at 46,411 MW on Tuesday and 46,383 MW in the middle of the business week, while load in PJM Mid-Atlantic is projected to see highs at 30,783 MW on Tuesday and 30,391 MW on Wednesday.

In the Midwest, PJM AEP region load is poised to decline as it is expected to top out at 14,501 MW on Tuesday and 14,373 MW at midweek, while PJM ComEd demand is set to rise as it is forecast to hit highs at 11,126 MW on Tuesday and 11,269 MW on Wednesday.

In the South, load in Texas is forecast to touch a high near 41,223 MW on Tuesday and 45,897 MW on Wednesday, joining the uptrend. In the West, California demand should near 33,900 MW on Tuesday and 32,970 MW on Wednesday.

In term trade, price action for November power generally unraveled in the week's opening session Oct. 16, in tandem with front-month natural gas futures that notched losses on the day to signal fueling costs lower.

In the East, power deals for November held almost flat day on day at an index atop $35 in New England but shed roughly 70 cents to average around $33 at PJM West. Farther along the forward curve, December power trades were done in the mid-$50s in New England and in the high $30s at PJM West.

In the Midwest, PJM AD November faltered by nearly 50 cents to an index above $33 and PJM Northern Illinois November retreated about 30 cents to an average at approximately $31. MISO Indiana November power prices deflated roughly 80 cents to an index atop $34. Looking ahead, power for December was marked in the low to high $30s overall.

In the South, losses of about 50 cents to $1 at the ERCOT markets steered prompt-month power pricing to indexes spread from roughly $21 to $29. Regional price activity for December power likewise spanned the low to high $20s.

In the West, California saw month-ahead power values defy the wider decline by adding almost 50 cents to average atop $39 at North Path-15 and climbing by 95 cents to an index close to $38 at South Path-15, while front-month power prices gave back about 60 cents to average at $25 at Mid-Columbia and fell by 25 cents to an index at over $27 at Palo Verde. Pricing for December power was spotted in the high $30s to the low $40s in California and in the high $20s to the low $30s elsewhere in the region.

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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.