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Power Prices Jump From Washington to Boston Amid Heavy Demand

Spot wholesale electricity prices at PJM Interconnection LLC’s benchmark Western hub rose to the highest level in more than six years as frigid weather and moderate to heavy snow in the region boosted demand.

Power consumption on the PJM network, the largest U.S. grid, jumped 13 percent to average 121,838 megawatts for the hour ended at 9 a.m. from the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The high temperature in Washington may reach 26 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 3 Celsius) today, 17 below the historical average, while in Boston the high may be 12 degrees, 24 below normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

PJM West spot prices tripled to average $128.54 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 9 a.m. from the same time yesterday, after rising to $231.24 at 8 a.m., the highest average price for that hour since it reached $249.79 on Dec. 6, 2007, the grid data show. Prices at the Eastern hub, which includes New Jersey, more than tripled to average $219.30 a megawatt-hour at 9 a.m.

PJM West on-peak power traded $61.13 below the Eastern hub, compared with a $27.07 discount yesterday and a three-month average discount of $3.40 for PJM West.

New York Prices

New York City prices rose 88 percent to average $200.95 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 9 a.m. from the same time yesterday, while Boston prices advanced 31 percent to average $207.49 a megawatt-hour.

New York on-peak power traded $11.22 below Boston, compared with a $47.51 premium yesterday and a three-month average discount of $16.81 for New York.

The higher prices came as a powerful snowstorm hit the mid-Atlantic states and the Northeast.

Manhattan’s Central Park had received 6 inches (15 centimeters) of snow by 7 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. Boston’s Logan International Airport reported 14.6 inches, said Nicole Belk, a weather service meteorologist in Taunton, Massachusetts. Wilmington, Delaware received at least 3.8 inches of snow.

To contact the reporter on this story: Harry R. Weber in Houston at hweber14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net

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