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AM Power Report: Most US power prices could shift lower

Next-day power prices could shift lower in most cases Tuesday, March 20, as traders look to mixed but mostly lower demand projections for midweek.

Eyes will also remain on natural gas prices. Losing 3.7 cents in the March 19 session, NYMEX April natural gas futures were edging slightly higher Tuesday ahead of the opening bell. The contract was pegged at $2.656/MMBtu, up 0.5 cent at 7:15 a.m. ET, as the market searched for direction.

Day-ahead natural gas markets could see varied moves Tuesday, in step with the recent futures activity.

New England demand is seen peaking at 16,250 MW on Tuesday and 16,500 MW on Wednesday. New York load is expected to crest at 20,050 MW on Tuesday and 19,300 MW on Wednesday.

In the mid-Atlantic's PJM Western region, load could top out near 54,050 MW on Tuesday and 54,170 MW on Wednesday. PJM Mid-Atlantic region demand could reach 39,530 MW on Tuesday and 38,000 MW on Wednesday.

In the Midwest, PJM AEP region load is seen topping out at 16,530 MW on Tuesday and 17,120 MW on Wednesday. Demand at PJM ComEd near Chicago is likely to peak at 12,360 MW on Tuesday and 12,100 MW on Wednesday.

Load in Texas is anticipated to reach 37,330 MW on Tuesday and 38,600 MW at midweek. California demand is anticipated to reach highs at 27,570 MW on Tuesday and 27,360 MW on Wednesday.

Along the forward curve, power values for April were lower with the day's loss in futures implying weaker fueling costs for U.S. power generators.

In the East, April power parcels in New England and at the Mid-Atlantic's PJM West ran in the mid-$30s. April power at the Zone A market in New York was reported in the low $30s.

In the Midwest, April power parcels at the PJM markets were priced in the mid-$30s at the AD hub and in the high $20s the at the Northern Illinois hub. Power for April at MISO Indiana was seen in the low $30s.

In the South, April delivery power at the ERCOT North market was reported in the upper $20s. Second-quarter parcels at ERCOT North were priced in the mid-$30s.

On the West Coast, at the South Path 15 market in California, April parcels were pegged in the mid-$20s. April power at Mid-Columbia was seen in the mid-teens, while similar packages at Palo Verde were eyed in the mid-$20s. Deals for the second quarter at SP-15 and Palo Verde were seen in the high $20s.

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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, natural gas index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities pages.