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AM Power Report: Dailies could meander with demand prospects

The price of power at the daily markets could vary Tuesday, Feb. 27, as traders consider diverging demand outlooks for midweek.

Participants will also keep watch of the natural gas markets. Rising 2.9 cents in the prior trading day, the new front-month April natural gas futures contract was down 1.5 cents overnight to trade near $2.671/MMBtu on light profit taking.

Looking at demand, load projections for midweek are mixed.

In the Northeast, demand in New England is forecast to see highs at 15,670 MW on Tuesday and 15,200 MW on Wednesday, while New York load is set to unwind as it is projected to hit highs at 18,910 MW on Tuesday and 18,806 MW in the middle of the workweek. In the Mid-Atlantic, softer demand is in store, as load in the PJM Western region is expected to touch a high near 51,166 MW on Tuesday and 49,764 MW on Wednesday, while PJM Mid-Atlantic demand is called to reach 34,222 MW on Tuesday and 33,941 MW on Wednesday.

In the Midwest, demand in the PJM AEP region is poised to slump as it is forecast to crest at 16,945 MW on Tuesday and 15,806 MW on Wednesday, while PJM ComEd load could rise to peak at 11,469 MW on Tuesday and 11,747 MW at midweek.

In the South, load in Texas should near 38,940 MW on Tuesday and 40,785 MW on Wednesday, joining the uptick. In the West, California demand could top out at 29,450 MW on Tuesday and 28,940 MW on Wednesday.

In term action, March power was choppy with a dominant upside bias in the week's opening session Feb. 26, as gains at the natural gas futures arena signaled an uptick in fueling costs.

In the East, power prices for March climbed more than $1 to the high $30s in New England but deflated by almost $2 to the low $30s at PJM West. Further along the forward curve, pricing for April power was similarly pegged in the high $30s in New England and in the low $30s at PJM West.

In the Midwest, March power transactions at the PJM markets bucked the broad advance with a 15-cent slump to the low $30s at the AD hub and a roughly 80-cent decline to the high $20s at the Northern Illinois hub, as similar deals at MISO Indiana rose nearly 20 cents also to the low $30s. Power trades for April across the three locations were carried out in the high $20s to the mid-$30s.

In the South, gains of between 10 cents and 20 cents at the ERCOT hubs took price activity for month-ahead power to the high $20s into the low $30s. Regional pricing for April power delivery spanned the high $20s to the low $30s.

In the West, California saw March power lifted by 65 cents to the high $20s at North Path-15 and bolstered by about 20 cents to the low $30s at South Path-15, while Mid-Columbia March was up 55 cents on the day in the high $10s and Palo Verde March was near unchanged in the low to mid-$20s. April power was marked in the low $10s at Mid-Columbia and the $20s elsewhere in the region.

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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.