Power values across the country notched gains Friday, Jan. 20, as outlooks for mixed to higher load forecasts offset pressures from softer spot natural gas prices.
In the gas futures arena, prior day gains were reversed Friday amid lackluster midrange fundamentals, with the front-month February contract falling 16.4 cents to settle below the key $3.25/MMBtu support at $3.204/MMBtu.
The National Weather Service is forecasting that more storms could "bring heavy rain, with heavy snow in the mountains to California and the southern Rockies through the weekend."
East markets regain ground on load expectations
Forecasts for mostly higher Jan. 23 demand boosted power dailies in the East on Friday but with slack spot gas prices keeping the uptick in check.
Next-day markets posted gains of around $2 from Thursday, with power changing hands in the mid-$30s at both NEPOOL-Mass and PJM West.
Trading for typically subdued weekend demand, day-ahead markets faltered with NEPOOL-Mass, New York Zone A, New York Zone G and New York Zone J shedding around $3 to $4 from Thursday and averaging $29.32, $27.35, $31.29 and $31.80, respectively.
Demand in the Northeast is set to climb after the weekend, with New England expected to see highs of 16,550 MW on Friday and 17,700 MW on Jan. 23, while demand in New York may hit peaks of 19,646 MW on Friday and 20,404 MW on Jan. 23.
Load in the mid-Atlantic could start the new workweek in different direction, with the PJM Mid-Atlantic region called to see demand reach 36,443 MW on Friday and 35,608 MW on Jan. 23, while load in the PJM Western region may touch 51,291 MW on Friday and 53,131 MW on Jan. 23.
Midwest values firm despite varied demand, choppy gas prices
Pressures from mixed load forecasts and diverging spot gas prices failed to keep down power prices in the Midwest on Friday. Noting most of the session's activity was MISO Indiana, where power changed hands in the mid- to high $30s, up almost $2 from Thursday.
Regional demand forecasts are mixed with load in the PJM AEP region possibly peaking at 16,132 MW on Friday and 15,775 MW on Jan. 23, while the PJM ComEd region should see highs of 12,565 MW on Friday and 12,828 MW on Jan. 23.
Texas power prices rise on demand support
Expectations of strong Jan. 23 demand provided next-day power values in Texas with a push Friday but with gains limited by flat to lower spot gas prices.
At ERCOT North, next-day power deals posted a premium of close to $4 and were done in the mid-$20s.
Owing to sluggish weekend demand, day-ahead markets tumbled. DAMs at ERCOT Houston and ERCOT South fell by about $3 to $6 from Thursday and averaged $24.79 and $21.94, respectively, while DAMs at ERCOT North and ERCOT West shed roughly a dollar and averaged $19.86 and $18.28, respectively.
Demand in ERCOT could crest at 37,395 MW on Friday and 42,011 MW on Jan. 23.
West dailies regain ground in revised trade
Potentially elevated weekday demand typically included in next-day schedule revisions countered softer spot gas prices and kept power markets in the West on the positive side of the ledger on Friday.
Power dailies in the Southwest added $1 to $3 from Thursday with deals done in the mid- to high $20s at Palo Verde and the high $20s at Mead. In California, power at South Path-15 added almost $4 from Thursday and ranged in the mid-$30s. Gains of $1 to $2 were heard in the Northwest with Mid-Columbia transactions seen in the high $20s to low $30s, while COB deals were posted in the low $30s.
The California ISO is calling for load to top out at 29,595 MW on Friday and 27,467 MW on Saturday but with demand possibly rebounding by the start of the new workweek on Jan. 23.
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.