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Coal generation share in PJM rises in first-half November

Highlights

Coal made up 22.6% of share in H1 November

Natural gas share falls to 18-month low

Houston — Coal generation rose in the first half of November in the PJM Interconnection to average 443,720 MWh, up from 375,975 MWh in the H2 October, but down from 556,786 MWh averaged in H1 November 2019, according to PJM data.

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Coal's generation share in the regional transmission organization, which covers 12 states and the District of Columbia, rose to 22.2% in H1 November from 18.9% in the prior half month, but down from 26% in the same period a year ago. The 22.2% was the third-highest coal share in the last 11 months, only lower than 22.4% in H2 August and 23.2% in H2 July.

Average natural gas generation was at an 18-month low 619,021 MWh, or 31%, in H1 November, compared with 737,078 MWh, or 37.2% in H2 October, and 733,530 MWh, or 34.4%, in the same period a year ago. It was the lowest half-month total since gas made up 30.7% in H1 May 2019.

Nuclear's generation share rose to 36.9% in H1 November, up from 36.3% in H2 October and 32.6% a year ago, while renewables made up 8.6% of the stack, up from 6.1% in the prior half month and 6.2% in H1 November 2019.

Total generation climbed to an average of 2 million MWh in H1 November, up from 1.98 million MWh in H2 October, but down from 2.13 million MWh in H1 November 2019.

According to CustomWeather, temperatures across the PJM footprint fell to an average 53.6 degrees, down from 54.5 degrees averaged in H2 October, but higher than 40.2 degrees averaged a year earlier.

PJM West Hub day-ahead on-peak prices averaged $24.33/MWh in H1 November, down from $27.65/MWh in H2 October and $33.34/MWh in H1 November 2019.

Similarly, with power prices, spot gas prices declined in the first half of November. Along the Texas Eastern Transmission M-3 pipeline, prices for next-day flows averaged $1.122/MMBtu in H1 November, down from $1.476/MMBtu in H2 October and $2.618/MMBtu in the same period a year earlier.

But prompt-month coal prices increased in the latest half month. Central Appalachia 12,500 Btu/lb rail (CSX) coal for prompt-month delivery averaged $49.23/st in H1 November, up from $47.77/st in H2 October and $44.15/st in H1 November 2019.