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ERCOT day-ahead power prices surge above $100 as other US markets ease with load

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ERCOT day-ahead power prices surge above $100 as other US markets ease with load

Editor's Note: Please be advised that S&P Global Market Intelligence will no longer publish daily articles on price trends in the U.S. natural gas, electricity and emissions markets beginning June 1, 2018. Pricing data for these energy markets will continue to be available on the Market Intelligence platform.

Next-day power markets around the U.S. leaned mixed to lower Tuesday, May 15, owing to forecasts for mostly subdued Wednesday demand.

After moving higher the day prior, the front-month June natural gas futures contract closed the session in shallow negative territory at $2.836/MMBtu, shedding a scant 0.6 cent.

In other supply, following increased production at several reactors, total U.S. nuclear plant availability hit 90.83% early May 15.

Texas day-ahead markets rise above $100 with load support

Strong load forecasts supported substantial gains at day-ahead markets in Texas on Tuesday.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is projecting peaks of 59,793 MW on Tuesday and 62,241 MW on Wednesday.

Boosted by load, day-ahead values surged more than $70 and averaged $122.34 at ERCOT Houston, $130.00 at ERCOT North, $121.60 at ERCOT South and $123.51 at ERCOT West.

East values slip with lower load forecasts

Subdued midweek load forecasts led power dailies in the East lower Tuesday.

At next-day markets, power prices at the New England Mass hub fell roughly $6 and ranged in the high $20s, while PJM West packages tumbled more than $15 and spanned the high $30s to low $40s.

Losses of $6 to $9 were noted at day-ahead markets in the Northeast, with the Mass hub, New York Zone A, New York Zone G and New York Zone J posting averages of $25.50, $29.19, $31.55 and $32.03, respectively.

Looking at load, demand in New England may reach 15,150 MW on Tuesday and 13,960 MW on Wednesday, while load in New York should touch 19,800 MW on Tuesday and 19,050 MW on Wednesday. Load in the PJM Mid-Atlantic region could top out at 40,903 MW on Tuesday and 33,259 MW on Wednesday, while the PJM Western region could see demand crest at 56,540 MW on Tuesday and 53,602 MW on Wednesday.

Northwest, Calif. dailies flounder; Southwest values notch gains

Excluding values in the Southwest, dailies in the West favored the downside Tuesday with slack load forecasts providing no support for prices.

The California ISO is expecting highs of 28,185 MW on Tuesday and 27,894 MW on Wednesday. Unsupported by load, packages at South Path-15 lost close to $2 and spanned the low $20s.

Losses ranging from $2 to $7 were seen in the Northwest, with Mid-Columbia dailies spanning the single digits to mid-teens, while the California-Oregon Border hub saw values in the mid- to high teens

Hubs in the Southwest notched gains of $1 to $2 on the session, with power deals heard in the high teens to low $20s at Palo Verde and the low $20s at Mead.

Midwest values firm amid mixed load forecasts

Hubs in the Midwest saw little change Tuesday as values searched for direction amid calls for choppy midweek demand. Most of the session's action was focused at MISO Indiana, where power prices ranged in the low $40s, little changed from Monday.

Demand is projected to diverge by the middle of the workweek. Load in the PJM AEP region may near highs of 18,133 MW on Tuesday and 17,162 MW on Wednesday, while demand in the PJM ComEd region should hit peaks of 12,061 MW on Tuesday and 12,288 MW on Wednesday.

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.