Despite pressures from mixed load forecasts and varied spot gas prices, next-day power markets across the country were biased higher Monday, Oct. 16.
At the natural gas futures arena, the front-month November contract revisited the downside Monday and closed the session with a 5.4-cent loss at $2.946/MMBtu. On the other hand, spot gas markets were mixed but held a slight upward bias overall.
Following the loss of two nuclear units, total U.S. nuclear plant availability slipped to 85.96% early Oct. 16.
Most West power markets biased higher; Mid-Columbia deals falter
Daily power values in the West, with the exception of those in Mid-Columbia, favored gains Monday, as most locations found support from elevated load forecasts and firm spot gas prices.
In California, power prices at North Path-15 added around $6 and ranged in the low to high $50s, while South Path-15 deals rose by about $10 and were seen in the low $50s to high $60s. In the Southwest, on-peak trades were $5 to $8 higher on the session and were noted in the mid-$30s to high $40s at Palo Verde and the low $40s at Mead.
On the other hand, power packages moved mixed in the Northwest with Mid-Columbia trades down about $3 in the mid-$30s, while power at the California-Oregon Border hub was exchanged in the mid- to high $30s, up about $3 from Oct. 13.
The California ISO is calling for peaks of 33,735 MW on Monday and 33,969 MW on Tuesday.
Lower demand forecasts, higher gas prices leave East power markets mixed
Outlooks for deflated Tuesday demand and a surge in spot gas prices pushed power markets in the East in different directions Monday.
At the New England Mass hub, next-day deals were done in the high $30s to low $40s, down about $4 on the session, while PJM West trades were up less than a dollar in the low $30s.
Conversely, day-ahead markets in the Northeast were mixed. Deals in New York added $1 to $2 from Oct. 13 and averaged $27.38 at New York Zone A, $30.80 at New York Zone G and $30.98 at New York Zone J while at power prices at the Mass hub shed more than $4 and averaged $42.31.
Spot gas prices helped support power markets. Gas deals at Tetco-M3 added more than $1.15 from Oct. 13 and averaged close to $1.70/MMBtu, while trades at Transco Zone 6 New York rose more than $1.50 and averaged above $2.80/MMBtu.
Grid operators in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic are calling for subdued demand to kick off the fresh workweek. Load in New England may reach 15,000 MW on Monday and 14,700 MW on Tuesday, while demand in New York should touch 18,566 MW on Monday and 18,152 MW on Tuesday. The PJM Mid-Atlantic region could see load run up to 31,731 MW on Monday and 31,133 MW on Tuesday, while demand in the PJM Western region is seen nearing peaks of 46,616 MW on Monday and 46,587 MW on Tuesday.
Midwest dailies notch gains on demand support
Outlooks for strong Tuesday demand and some support from varied spot gas prices helped keep power dailies in the Midwest afloat Monday.
MISO Indiana saw the bulk of Monday's action, with power prices pegged in the mid-$30s, around a dollar higher from Oct. 13.
Demand in the region is set to rise at the start of the new workweek. Load in the PJM AEP region should top out at 14,402 MW on Monday and 14,501 MW on Tuesday, while demand in the PJM ComEd region may crest at 10,926 MW on Monday and 11,126 MW on Tuesday.
Texas day-ahead prices flounder with demand outlooks
Forecasts for subdued Tuesday demand and little support from mixed spot gas prices helped fuel losses at regional day-ahead markets in Texas on Monday.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is projecting highs of 41,961 MW on Monday and 41,545 MW on Tuesday.
Bogged down by demand, day-ahead markets sagged with ERCOT North, ERCOT South and ERCOT West trades down by $5 to $7 and averaging $20.14, $23.25 and $20.61, respectively, while deals at ERCOT Houston tumbled more than $10 and averaged $25.21.
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.