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PJM Monthly Tracker: Power prices, loads down in September shoulder season

Highlights

Day-ahead on-peak LMPs down 18.6% from August

Dayton Hub prices down 27.87% on year

New York — PJM Interconnection power prices were down over 20% in September year over year with loads down about 10% from year-ago levels. Output from renewables and nuclear power increased month over month, while natural gas- and coal-fired generation decreased.

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Average day-ahead on-peak locational marginal prices at major hubs edged downward by 18.6% from August and 25% year over year. PJM West Hub prices averaged $22.39/MWh in September, down $4.80/MWh or 17.65% from August and down $7.63/MWh year over year from $30.03/MWh, which is a 25.42% decline.

The biggest year-over-year decline was in Dayton Hub where prices were down 27.87% from $31.34/MWh last September to $22.61/MWh in September 2020.

Northern Illinois Hub saw the largest monthly price decline, falling from $26.15/MWh in August to $20.46/MWh in September, a 21.74% decrease, according to S&P Global Platts' price database.

Peakload averaged about 97 GW this September, down 20.13% from August's 122 GW and down 10.54% from September 2019's 109 GW, according to PJM data.

Population-weighted daily average cooling-degree days this September were 58% lower than August's daily averages and 32% lower than the September 2019 averages.

Forward markets

Looking forward, PJM West Hub November on-peak power packages averaged $28.10/MWh this September, down from an average $32.45/MWh in November 2019.

The December PJM West on-peak package averaged $33.55/MWh, up 19% from November and up slightly from the December 2019 average of $32.00/MWh.

Generation mix

With regard to the power generation technologies that supplied PJM's power in September, natural gas led the way, with 41.1% of PJM's generation mix, down from 50% in August and down slightly from 41.2% in September 2019.

In contrast, the coal-fired generation fleet's share continued to diminish to 17.7% this September from 26.7% in August and 24.4% in September 2019.

The nuclear fleet retained its No. 2 position accounting for 35% of the fuel mix this September, down from 36% this August but equal to September 2019.

Renewable energy output increased with wind power up 78.13% month over month and 18.87% year over year. Solar output was down 10.97% month over month but up 22.42% year over year.