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Western US power dailies pop higher ahead of long weekend

In typical preweekend fashion, power dailies across most of the U.S. ticked higher Friday, Feb. 16; however, gains in the western U.S. stood out as prices jumped by the double digits, supported in part by a stormy weather outlook.

Markets across the U.S. will be closed Feb. 19 in observance of Presidents Day.

The advance in power prices came without much support from the natural gas market. NYMEX March gas futures continued lower Friday, sliding 2.2 cents to close at $2.558/MMBtu. Spot gas markets also retreated as deals covered the lower-load weekend days as well as the Feb. 19 holiday.

Mid-Columbia jumps $25 ahead of fresh round of storms

After deals in the western U.S. in the previous session included delivery over the long holiday weekend, which sapped demand and prices, the value of next-day power corrected higher Friday.

Gains in the Northwest were magnified by a fresh round of winter storms slated to hit the region this weekend. Mid-Columbia deals for Feb. 20 flow were done in a range from the low $30s to near $40, up $25 on the day.

Prices also climbed to the south, with Mead up more than $10 to an index in the mid-$30s, Palo Verde priced $7.50 higher in the high $20s to mid-$30s and South Path-15 up just $1 in the high $30s.

California is called to top out at 27,120 MW on Friday and 25,530 MW on Feb. 17 before jumping Feb. 20 at the start of the next workweek.

East markets mixed, little changed ahead of long weekend

Daily power markets in the eastern U.S. were mixed but little changed Friday, reflecting choppy fundamentals as a winter storm this weekend will give way to spring-like conditions by Feb. 20.

The New England Mass hub saw next-day deals for delivery on the Feb. 19 holiday done in the high $20s, off less than $1 on the day, while PJM West in the mid-Atlantic saw Feb. 19 trades in the mid-$20s, up less than $1.

Day-ahead markets for Feb. 17 flow saw even lower prices. Deals at the Mass hub averaged $28.72, while prices in New York ranged from $21.09 in Zone A to $28.16 in Zone G and $30.19 in Zone J. PJM West averaged $24.04.

New England demand should hit 15,660 MW on Friday, 16,000 MW on Feb. 19 and 15,350 MW on Feb. 20. New York load is expected to reach highs at 20,000 MW on Friday, 18,720 MW on Feb. 19 and 18,930 MW on Feb. 20.

In the PJM Western region, load could reach 52,560 MW on Friday, 47,865 MW on Feb. 19 and 48,920 on Feb. 20. PJM Mid-Atlantic region demand could come in at peaks near 33,430 MW on Friday, 32,200 MW on Feb. 19 and 31,950 MW on Feb. 20.

Wintry weather helps support Midwest dailies

Despite trades covering a low-load holiday delivery period on Feb. 19, power prices in the Midwest edged slightly higher Friday amid steady demand forecasts and the arrival of storms across the northern Plains by the start of the next workweek.

Most activity was reported at the MISO Indiana hub, where deals for Feb. 19 flow were executed in the mid- to upper $20s, up $1 to $2 on the day.

Day-ahead markets at regional PJM hubs traded at similar levels despite covering a lower-load Feb. 17 delivery day as the AEP Dayton hub averaged $26.57 and the Northern Illinois market was pegged at $31.18.

PJM AEP region load is called to peak at 16,130 MW on Friday, 16,120 MW on Feb. 19 and 14,640 MW on Feb. 20. Demand at PJM ComEd near Chicago is likely to hit 12,650 MW on Friday, 11,700 MW on Feb. 19 and 12,200 MW on Feb. 20.

ERCOT markets tempered by generally mild weather, low load

Without much to support gains, power prices in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas remained low to end the week as dailies for Feb. 19 flow slid less than $1 to range in the low $20s at most locations.

Prices were even lower in day-ahead trade for Feb. 17 delivery with averages spread from $22.06 at ERCOT Houston and $22.37 at ERCOT North to $22.49 at ERCOT West and $22.82 at ERCOT South.

Load in ERCOT is anticipated to reach 37,665 MW on Friday, 39,840 MW on Feb. 19 and 38,100 MW on Feb. 20.

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.