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US power dailies move mixed; East prices plunge with demand forecasts

Next-day power values across the U.S. moved mixed in the week's opening session Monday, Dec. 18, as eastern U.S. markets slumped with the load outlook while deals in the western U.S. were underpinned by rising load forecasts.

Also lending support to power markets across the country, January 2018 natural gas futures recovered almost all of the losses posted in the previous week, starting the new workweek with a gain of 13.3 cents to settle at $2.745/MMBtu. Spot gas markets also ticked higher with gains ranging from about 5 cents in the East to close to 20 cents in the West.

Northeast markets collapse amid round of milder weather

A brief moderation in the weather to start the new workweek sent load forecasts and next-day power prices in the Northeast sharply lower Monday.

In New England, dailies at the Mass Hub were pegged in the mid-$40s, down more than $15 from prior-session levels, while PJM West in the mid-Atlantic saw next-day deals in the upper $20s, off close to $10 on the day.

Day-ahead markets were slightly elevated with Mass hub averaging $56.97. New York Zone A was pegged at $22.56, while Zone G averaged $34.64 and Zone J averaged $35.40.

Demand in New England is poised to top out at 17,500 MW on Tuesday, while load in New York is called to reach 20,774 MW on Tuesday, off 1,000 MW and 500 MW on the day, respectively. Farther south, demand in the PJM Western region should hit 53,456 MW on Tuesday, while load in the PJM Mid-Atlantic region is projected to hit 35,040 MW on Tuesday, each off close to 2,000 MW on the day.

Midwest markets soften with demand outlook

A declining load outlook ushered power dailies in the Midwest lower in the week's opening session.

Dailies at the MISO Indiana market were pegged in the high $20s, off almost $5 on the session.

PJM AEP region load will likely reach 16,593 MW on Tuesday, about 500 MW below Monday's projected peak, while PJM ComEd demand could peak at 12,686 MW on Tuesday, steady to Monday.

Texas power prices remain low despite rebounding demand

The price of power in Texas moved lower Monday despite a rising load outlook and stronger spot gas prices.

Day-ahead markets ranged tightly in the low $20s at averages of $22.11 at ERCOT North, $22.18 at ERCOT West, $22.33 at ERCOT Houston and $23.06 at ERCOT South.

Demand in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas should near 41,613 MW on Tuesday, about 500 MW above Monday's projected peak.

West markets rise in tandem with load forecasts

Next-day power markets in the western U.S. moved mostly higher Monday, reflecting a rising load outlook.

Gains were most significant in the Southwest, where Palo Verde traded $3 higher to the mid- and upper $20s while South Path-15 trades strengthened by almost $4 in the high $40s.

Demand In California is forecast to top 31,000 MW on Tuesday, up about 500 MW on the day.

In the Northwest, trades at the California-Oregon Border hub were done in the high $20s, up $2 on the day, while prices at Mid-Columbia retreated by about $1 with action in the mid-$20s

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