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AM Power Report: Dailies could deflate with load, gas in week's opener

Pricing for next-day power could open the workweek softer Monday, March 26, as mostly weaker demand outlooks for Tuesday combine with ongoing losses in natural gas futures trading.

In natural gas action, the price of spot gas could also decline to start the workweek as the front-month April contract was aimed lower overnight, following its 2.6-cent decline March 23 with additional losses. At last glance at 6:40 a.m. ET, the April contract was trading at $2.581/MMBtu, down 1.0 cent.

On the demand side, most grid operators see sagging load as the workweek unfolds.

In the Northeast, demand in New England is projected to peak at 15,440 MW on Monday and 15,300 MW on Tuesday, while load in New York should near 18,114 MW at the start of the workweek and 17,959 MW on Tuesday. In the mid-Atlantic, PJM Western region load is poised to crest at 53,494 MW on Monday and 50,382 MW on Tuesday, while PJM Mid-Atlantic load could buck the wider decline as it is forecast to hit highs at 35,729 MW on Monday and 36,464 MW on Tuesday.

In the Midwest, demand in the PJM AEP region is called to reach 17,562 MW on Monday and 16,031 MW on Tuesday, while load in PJM ComEd is forecast to top out at 11,662 MW on Monday and 11,284 MW on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Texas demand could touch a high near 46,145 MW on Monday and 43,459 MW on Tuesday, while California load could see highs at 27,134 MW at the return of the workweek and 27,100 MW on Tuesday.

At the term markets, price action for April power was thoroughly mixed ahead of the weekend, as lingering cold in midrange outlooks and moderating weather implied by the calendar spelled diverging demand patterns.

In the East, month-ahead power values rose nearly $3 to the high $30s in New England but faltered 35 cents to the low $30s at PJM West. Further out, pricing for May power delivery was spotted in the high $20s in New England and the low $30s at PJM West.

In the Midwest, PJM AD saw April power tack on about 10 cents in transactions discussed in the mid-$30s, PJM Northern Illinois saw prompt-month power shed roughly 40 cents in deals assessed in the high $20s, while MISO Indiana saw the April offering add approximately 20 cents in trades valued in the low $30s. Looking ahead, May power was likewise marked in the high $20s to the mid-$30s across the three hubs.

In the South, power for front-month delivery was valued in the mid-$20s to the low $30s in deals off 10 cents day on day at ERCOT West but up about 10 cents to as much as 20 cents at the rest of the ERCOT markets. Power parcels for May were quoted in the high $20s to the low $30s across the region.

In the West, a near 40-cent decline steered North Path-15 April to the high $20s, a 25-cent retreat took South Path-15 April to the low and mid-$20s, Mid-Columbia April was almost unchanged day on day in the high $10s, and Palo Verde April was 75 cents weaker in the low $20s. Further along the forward curve, May power was reported in the low $10s at Mid-Columbia and in the low $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.