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US daily power markets exit workweek with mixed moves

Next-day power markets across the U.S. capped off the final session of the workweek Friday, March 23, with mixed moves following forecasts for diverging March 26 demand.

At the gas futures arena, the front-month April contract extended prior day losses and closed the workweek down 2.6 cents at $2.591/MMBtu.

In other supply, total U.S. nuclear plant availability advanced early March 23 to 87.64% despite the loss of Exelon Corp.'s LaSalle 1 in Illinois.

Supporting demand at some markets into this weekend, "An Alberta clipper storm will spread a swath of heavy snow and travel disruptions in a narrow band from central North Dakota to Ohio through Saturday," said in a March 23 forecast.

East dailies sag with mixed demand forecasts

Little support from varied load forecasts left power dailies in the East mixed to ultimately lower Friday.

At next-day markets, power prices at the New England Mass hub slipped by less than $1 and changed hands in the high $30s while PJM West packages shed roughly a dollar from Thursday and ranged in the mid-$30s.

Owing to pressures from subdued weekend demand, day-ahead markets floundered. DAMs at the Mass hub, New York Zone A, Zone G and Zone J shed $1 to $5 on the session and averaged $32.18, $23.16, $26.82 and $32.63, respectively.

Demand in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic may diverge at the start of the new workweek. New England load should peak at 15,100 MW on Friday and 16,000 MW on March 26 while New York demand may touch highs of 18,390 MW on Friday and 18,350 MW on March 26. The PJM Mid-Atlantic region should see load top out at 35,938 MW on Friday and 36,128 MW on March 26 while demand in the PJM Western region could see load crest at 55,104 MW on Friday and 54,078 MW on March 26.

West power values close workweek varied

Despite prospects offered by potentially higher March 26 demand, power prices in the West still diverged Friday.

Power packages in the West exchanged power for March 25-26 delivery with the inclusion of the typically higher load weekday in the product providing a boost to values.

In the Northwest, power prices at Mid-Columbia saw little change from Thursday and ranged in the high teens while values at the California-Oregon Border hub eased into the low $20s.

In the Southwest, Palo Verde trades added around a dollar and were quoted in the high teens while Mead packages eased slightly and were valued in the low $20s.

Demand in California may reach 26,503 MW on Friday and 24,828 MW on Saturday but with load possibly rebounding at the start of the new workweek March 26.

Texas DAMs rise with strong weekend load outlooks

Day-ahead values in Texas rose Friday as markets took into account elevated Saturday demand forecasts.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is calling for peaks of 40,505 MW on Friday, 44,562 MW on Saturday and 47,957 MW on March 26.

Day-ahead markets responded to strong Saturday load forecasts with gains. DAMs at ERCOT Houston, ERCOT North and ERCOT South added more than $10 from Thursday and averaged $35.72, $34.81 and $31.55, respectively. DAMs at ERCOT West surged by more than $20 on the session and averaged $34.70.

Midwest DAMs tick lower with weekend demand forecasts

Power packages at day-ahead markets in the Midwest took a few steps back Friday as traders took into account typically subdued Saturday demand.

Day-ahead packages at PJM AEP-Dayton and PJM Northern Illinois fell by almost $3 from Thursday and averaged $33.70 at the former and $23.56 at the latter.

Looking at load, demand in the PJM AEP region may near 18,461 MW on Friday and 17,672 MW on March 26 while load in the PJM ComEd region could hit highs of 11,607 MW on Friday and 11,670 MW on March 26.

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 and natural gas index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities Pages.