Excluding deals done at PJM West and MISO Indiana, next-day power prices across the country leaned lower Thursday, June 8, as a decline in spot gas prices countered outlooks for varied Friday demand.
Despite reports of a 106-Bcf net injection during the week ended June 2 that was above consensus estimates and historical averages, the front-month July contract managed to notch a scant 0.8-cent gain to close the day at $3.028/MMBtu. On the other hand, spot gas markets favored the downside and failed to support power dailies in most cases.
In near term weather, AccuWeather.com said "a blast of unseasonably cold air, gusty thunderstorms and mountain snow will spread across the West this weekend into next week."
Looking at the supply of nuclear generation, total plant availability nudged higher to 91.55% early June 8.
Midwest dailies tick higher on demand
Forecasts calling for robust Friday demand fueled a modest uptick in Midwestern power prices on Thursday, with slack gas prices keeping gains in check. MISO Indiana noted the bulk of Thursday's trading activity with power changing hands in the mid- to high $30s, up from a midweek index of $32.50.
Regional load forecasts are aimed higher, with the PJM AEP region possibly nearing peaks of 15,055 MW on Thursday and 15,669 MW on Friday. Demand in the PJM ComEd region should hit 13,703 MW on Thursday and 14,834 MW on Friday.
East values mixed as fundamentals diverge
Next-day power prices in the East were varied Thursday, as values were caught between mostly higher load forecasts and sagging spot gas prices.
In the mid-Atlantic, power at PJM West traded about $2 higher from midweek in the high $20s, while in the Northeast, the New England Mass hub saw deals slip by around $2 in the low $20s.
Flat to lower moves were posted across regional day-ahead markets. New York Zone A deals were down by around $4 and averaged $21.48, while trades at the Mass Hub and New York Zone G eased slightly and averaged $20.44 and $24.54, respectively. Defying the downtrend were values at New York Zone J, which were flat and averaged $25.82.
Mixed demand may be in store for the Northeast towards the end of the workweek. New England load may reach highs of 14,750 MW on Thursday and 14,560 MW on Friday, while demand in New York should near peaks of 18,452 MW on Thursday and 19,097 MW on Friday.
Grid operators in mid-Atlantic, on the other hand, are projecting strong demand. The PJM Mid-Atlantic region should see load crest at 30,756 MW on Thursday and 32,902 MW on Friday, while demand in the PJM Western region may top out at 50,058 MW on Thursday and 52,984 MW on Friday.
West values take a step back in revised trade
Power packages in the western part of the country stumbled Thursday, as subdued Saturday demand associated with next-day schedule revisions and falling spot gas prices led values lower.
In California, power at South Path-15 fell by roughly $9 in the low $20s. Losses of $5 to $8 were noted in the Southwest, with Palo Verde and Mead power trading in the low $20s. In the Northwest, Mid-Columbia and the California-Oregon Border saw values shed roughly $5 from midweek and range in the single digits to low teens at the former and in the high teens at the latter.
The California ISO sees demand slipping to 29,000 MW on Friday, down about 1,000 MW from Thursday.
Texas DAMs biased lower with weak fundamentals
Slack demand forecasts and a fall in spot gas prices pulled down day-ahead markets in Texas on Thursday.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas expects demand will peak at 56,400 MW on Friday, down 1,600 MW from the day before. Owing to the softer load outlook, day-ahead deals at ERCOT North, South and West slipped by $1 to $3 on the session and averaged $27.72, $31.28 and $26.03, respectively, while DAMs at ERCOT Houston were flat to Wednesday and averaged $34.63.
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