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PJM Western Hub Power Falls as Milder Weather Cuts Demand

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April 5 (Bloomberg) -- Wholesale electricity on the eastern U.S. grid operated by PJM Interconnection LLC slid for the first time on five days as a cold snap gave way to milder weather.

Spot prices covering on-peak hours dropped 31 percent, the most since March 19. The operator of the 13-state grid stretching from New Jersey into North Carolina and Illinois predicted a drop in demand today. Temperatures will be more seasonal across the region following lower-than-normal readings earlier in the week, according to AccuWeather Inc.

Electricity at PJM’s benchmark Western Hub, which includes prices from Pennsylvania to Washington, fell $18.19, or 33 percent, to $37.76 a megawatt-hour at 2:15 p.m. from yesterday’s on-peak average, according to the grid operator. On-peak hours run from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The high today in Washington may be 63 degrees Fahrenheit (17 Celsius), 1 below normal, compared with yesterday’s high of 50 degrees, 11 below normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

PJM predicted power usage across the grid would peak during the hour ended at 9 a.m. Demand rose to 95,834 megawatts at 8:10 a.m., 6.2 percent lower than yesterday’s peak of 102,182 megawatts.

Spot power gained in New York and New England.

New York City prices increased for the fourth time this week, rising $6.70, or 16 percent, to $48.19 a megawatt-hour from yesterday’s on-peak average, according to the New York Independent System Operator Inc.

On-peak prices on the six-state grid from Connecticut to Maine rose $12.12, or 32 percent, to $53.93 a megawatt-hour from the previous day’s average, the first gain in three days, ISO New England Inc. data showed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Naureen S. Malik in New York at nmalik28@bloomberg.net

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

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