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ISO New England real-time price spike leads to increase in oil, hydro generation

ISO New England real-time power price spikes Wednesday morning led toincreased oil and hydro generation usage as an abnormal conditions alertremains in effect due to the nor'easter that slammed the region.

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Real-time prices spiked above $1,875/MWh at 7:50 am EDT for twofive-minute intervals, according to ISO data. Prices quickly fell, beforejumping and hovering near $300/MWh for about an hour. Internal Hub real-timehas averaged $27.25/MWh so far in March, 26% below the March 2017 average.

The sudden spike in real-time prices Wednesday morning led to an increasein fuel oil and hydro generation.

Fuel oil generation spiked as high as 781 MW Wednesday, compared with amaximum of 20 MW Tuesday. Fuel oil has accounted for 4.7% of the ISO's fuelmix so far in 2018, compared with 0.3% in the first quarter of 2017, thanks tostrong winter storms driving up oil generation at the start of the year.

Hydro generation spiked to 2,770 MW, compared with Tuesday's highestlevel of nearly 1,750 MW. Hydro generation has been about 9.6% of the overallISO fuel mix so far this year, compared with 9.3% in Q1 2017.

ISO New England issued an abnormal conditions alert Monday afternoon dueto the nor'easter and the alert remains in effect until further notice. Oncethe alert is issued, market participants are expected to cease any routinemaintenance, construction or test activities on their equipment that couldjeopardize the reliability of the power system.

--Kassia Micek,

--Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh,