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AM Power Report: Values weighed down by mostly bearish fundamentals

Powerprices for day-aheaddelivery could be mixed with a downside bias Thursday, May 5, as tradersconsider expectations for jumbled but predominantly declining load at the closeof the workweek alongside lackluster trading activity at the natural gasfutures complex.

in the priorsession, June natural gas futures were edging slightly higher overnight ahead ofthe opening bell Thursday, trading near $2.144/MMBtu, up just 0.3 cent, aheadof the midmorning release of weekly storage data from the U.S. EnergyInformation Administration. Market outlooks are calling for an average 66-Bcf injectioninto storage for the week ended April 29. This will compare to the five-yearaverage injection of 64 Bcf and the 77-Bcf injection reported for the same weekin 2015.

Interms of demand, outlooks suggest mixed but mostly lower load at the close ofthe workweek, when business-related demand typically wanes leading up to theweekend break.

Inthe Northeast, softer load is in store, as demand in New England is called toreach 14,480 MW on Thursday and 13,740 MW on Friday, while load in New York isforecast to see highs at 17,750 MW on Thursday and 17,292 MW on Friday. In theMid-Atlantic, demand weakness is also on deck, as PJM Western region demand isseen peaking at 45,991 MW on Thursday and 45,521 MW on Friday, while PJMMid-Atlantic load is expected to hit a high at 30,216 MW on Thursday and 29,444MW on Friday.

Inthe Midwest, forecasts suggest stronger load, with demand in the PJM AEP regionprojected to crest at 14,558 MW on Thursday and 14,566 MW at the end of theworkweek, while load in PJM ComEd is expected to top out at 10,988 MW onThursday and 11,021 MW on Friday.

Inthe South, demand in ERCOT could reach highs at 46,047 MW on Thursday and44,473 MW at the close of the business week, joining the wider decline. Inthe West, load in CAISO should near 28,200 MW on Thursday and 26,960 MW onFriday, which should put downside pressure in next-day power pricing in theregion Thursday with the day's offering typically altered to feature partlyweekend parcels for Friday-Saturday delivery.

Alongthe forward curve, power for June delivery had a predominantly strong showingMay 4, as ongoing gains at the natural gas futures arena drove fueling costshigher.

Inthe East, front-month power pricing was up by nearly 40 cents at an index at above$35 at NEPOOL-Mass but off by roughly 20 cents against the wider uptrend at anaverage atop $36 at PJM West, as power prices for July at both hubs ran throughthe low $50s.

Inthe Midwest, trading activity for June power at the PJM markets slumped byaround 20 cents also against the broad advance to indexes at about $34 at theAD hub and atop $30 at the Northern Illinois hub, as MISO Indiana Junetransactions rose by near $2 to an index at almost $32. Along the forwardcurve, power deals for July delivery across the three hubs were carried out inthe high $30s to the low $40s.

Inthe South, gains of more than $1 at the ERCOT markets steered price action forJune power to indexes spread between $27 and $30, trailing regional pricing forJuly power that spanned the low $40s.

Inthe West, deals for month-ahead power delivery were lifted by more than $1overall to indexes atop $19 at Mid-Columbia, at almost $25 at Palo Verde and oneither side of $27 across North Path-15 and South Path-15 in California. Lookingahead, power trades for July were discussed in the mid-$20s at Mid-Columbia andin the low to mid-$30s elsewhere in the region.

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Market prices and included industry data are currentas of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailedmarket data, including power andnatural gasindex prices, as well as forwards and futures, visitour Commodities Pages.