Recovering spot gas prices supported most U.S. power markets on Monday, March 27, but with prices at some locations pressured by mixed load forecasts.
In natural gas futures trading, the front-month April contract reversed early session gains and closed the day down 2.4 cents at $3.052/MMBtu. Conversely, major spot gas markets around the country rebounded.
Looking at nuclear supply, total U.S. plant availability ticked higher to 82.90% early March 27, despite the loss of another reactor for refueling.
East dailies turn higher to rising gas prices
Daily power prices in the East rose Monday as higher spot gas prices offset subdued Tuesday load forecasts.
At next-day markets, NEPOOL-Mass and PJM West deals added about $1 to $3 from March 24 and were both reported in the low $30s.
Day-ahead markets also edged higher. DAMs in New York gained roughly $5 on the session and averaged at $28.59, $32.28 and $32.92 in New York Zone A, New York Zone G and New York Zone J, respectively, while trades at NEPOOL-Mass rose by about $7 from March 24 and averaged $32.93.
Demand in New England is called to hit 15,580 MW on Monday and 15,070 MW on Tuesday, while load in New York should near highs of 32,368 MW on Monday and 30,688 MW on Tuesday. Demand in the PJM Mid-Atlantic region may top out at 32,368 MW on Monday and 30,688 MW on Tuesday, while load in the PJM Western region should crest at 47,153 MW on Monday and 46,929 MW on Tuesday.
Calif., Northwest markets favor gains; Southwest dailies ease
A combination of elevated load forecasts and an uptick in spot gas prices boosted most power markets in the West on Monday.
Hubs in the Northwest recovered with Mid-Columbia and COB deals adding $5 to $6 and ranging in the single digits to low teens at the former and the mid- to high teens at the latter. On-peak power prices in California added $1 to $3 on the session and spanned the low $20s at both North Path-15 and South Path-15. Markets in the Southwest took a small step back, with Palo Verde exchanging power in the mid- to high teens, down around a dollar from March 24.
The California ISO is calling for peaks of 27,608 MW on Monday and 27,858 MW on Tuesday.
ERCOT DAMs start workweek with gains
Strong load forecasts and rebounding spot gas prices sent most day-ahead markets in Texas higher on Monday.
Day-ahead power at ERCOT Houston rose by more than $10 and averaged $51.07, while trades at ERCOT North and ERCOT South slipped by $6 to $8 and averaged $22.93 and $28.99, respectively. Day-ahead deals at ERCOT West fell by roughly $10 and averaged $21.89.
Demand in ERCOT should run up to 44,686 MW on Monday and 46,493 MW on Tuesday.
Midwest dailies supported by gas gains, mixed demand
Varied load forecasts and an increase in spot gas prices supported Midwestern power markets on Monday.
The PJM AEP region should see demand reach 14,501 MW on Monday and 14,457 MW on Tuesday, while load in the PJM ComEd region should touch 11,186 MW on Monday and 11,235 MW on Tuesday.
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.