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US power markets kick off workweek with demand support

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Essential Energy Insights - February 2021

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Six trends shaping the industries and sectors we cover in 2021

Six trends shaping the industries and sectors we cover in 2021


US power markets kick off workweek with demand support

Daily power markets across the U.S. spent the first session of the workweek Monday, Aug. 7, mixed but with prices at some locations deriving support from strong load forecasts and higher gas prices.

Amid oversold conditions, the front-month September natural gas futures contract managed to extend prior gains a bit further to close the session up 2.7 cents at $2.801/MMBtu. Mixed to higher moves were noted across spot gas markets, which gave some power markets a minor boost.

Following the loss of two units over the weekend, total U.S. nuclear plant availability dipped early Aug. 7 to 95.53%.

Northwest values falter; Calif., Southwest dailies tick higher

Western power markets, excluding those in the Northwest, favored gains Monday, owing to robust demand forecasts and firm spot gas prices.

Noting the only losses of the session were deals in the Northwest, which slipped by $3 to $6 from Aug. 4 and were done in the high $30s to low $40s at Mid-Columbia and the low $40s at the California-Oregon Border.

Conversely for the rest of the region, power packages were traded at modest premiums.

In California, on-peak power at South Path-15 added around a dollar and ranged in the low $40s. In the Southwest, Palo Verde and Mead trades climbed about $4 to $5, with transactions at the former pegged in the low to mid-$40s while packages at the latter changed hands in the high $40s.

The California ISO is calling for demand to run up to 39,043 MW on Monday and 40,584 MW on Tuesday.

East dailies mixed despite demand, gas support

Next-day power prices in the East moved flat to lower Monday as outlooks for strong Tuesday demand and higher gas prices failed to lift values.

At the New England Mass hub, next-day power packages added less than $1 from Aug. 4 and ranged in the mid-$20s while PJM West trades were down by about a dollar and were done in the high $20s.

Mixed to higher moves were noted across northeastern day-ahead markets, with the Mass hub shedding more than $2 and averaging $22.81 while New York Zone G and New York Zone J added less than $1 and averaged $27.73 and $28.69, respectively. In addition, New York Zone A deals were up almost $8 and averaged $27.53.

Demand is set to rise in both in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic. New England load could crest at 16,400 MW on Monday and 17,100 MW on Tuesday, while demand in New York should top out at 21,046 MW on Monday and 21,609 MW on Tuesday. The PJM Mid-Atlantic region is called to see load reach 34,759 MW on Monday and 38,064 MW on Tuesday, while demand in the PJM Western region could touch 53,511 MW on Monday and 55,541 MW on Tuesday.

Texas markets open workweek boosted by demand

Day-ahead values in Texas spent a quiet Monday session supported by elevated demand forecasts but pressured by flat to lower gas prices.

Load in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is called to peak at 57,378 MW on Monday and 58,377 MW on Tuesday. However, day-ahead deals were still varied with ERCOT Houston trades down about $1 to an average of $29.55 while ERCOT South transactions eased slightly and averaged $28.40. On the flip side, ERCOT North day-ahead deals were up almost a dollar and averaged $27.14 while ERCOT West packages added around $2 and averaged $27.21.

Midwest dailies supported at week's opener

Daily power markets in the Midwest were supported Monday by forecasts for increasing Tuesday demand and firm gas prices.

Load is set to rise as the new workweek unfolds. Load in the PJM AEP region is seen hitting highs of 16,224 MW on Monday and 16,738 MW on Tuesday while load in the PJM ComEd region should near peaks of 13,300 MW on Monday and 14,201 MW on Tuesday.

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.