Day-ahead power markets could see varied activity Wednesday, Jan. 25, as traders look to mixed load outlooks for the tail end of the workweek across the country.
Participants will watch the natural gas markets for pricing direction. Rising 3.6 cents in the prior trading day, front-month natural gas futures were slightly lower early Wednesday ahead of the opening bell. At last look, the contract was trading near $3.275/MMBtu, down just 0.4 cent, amid position squaring ahead of the Thursday release of the latest round of weekly storage data.
With any solid losses in gas futures at midweek, deals for next-day gas delivery could be poised in varied directions at midweek in some cases.
Looking at load, New England demand is expected to crest at 16,800 MW on Wednesday and 16,490 MW on Thursday. New York demand is likely to top out near 20,700 MW on Wednesday and 19,700 MW on Thursday.
In the Mid-Atlantic, PJM Western load is seen reaching 52,850 MW on Wednesday and 55,400 MW on Thursday, while PJM Mid-Atlantic region demand could top out at 35,700 MW at midweek and 35,600 MW on Thursday.
In the Midwest, demand in the PJM AEP region is expected to hit 15,900 MW on Wednesday and 16,800 MW on Thursday, with load at the PJM ComEd region near Chicago seen peaking at 13,000 MW on Wednesday and Thursday.
Demand in Texas should top out near 37,730 MW on Wednesday and 38,800 MW on Thursday, according to the ERCOT grid operator. The California ISO expects demand to reach 30,630 MW on Wednesday and 30,150 MW on Thursday.
At the forward markets, power prices were generally aimed higher in the Jan. 24 session, with the day's modest advance in the futures ring signaling rising fueling costs for U.S. power generators.
In the Northeast, New England February power deals traded in the upper $50s, with New York Zone G parcels assessed in the mid-$50s. February power at the PJM West hub in the Mid-Atlantic was marked in the low $40s.
In the Midwest, February parcels at the PJM AD hub were eyed in the high $30s, with deals for the month at MISO Indiana and Northern Illinois quoted in the low $40s and mid-$30s, respectively.
In Texas at the ERCOT North hub, February deals were seen in the high $20s, with second-quarter power packages melded in the low $30s.
On the West Coast, February power at South Path-15 in California was reported in the low to mid-$30s, with second-quarter deals inked in the upper $20s.
In the Northwest, power for February at Mid-Columbia was eyed in the high $20s, with deals for the second quarter assessed in the low $20s. At Palo Verde, power for February and the second quarter was reported in the high $20s and mid-$20s, respectively.
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.