April 18 (Bloomberg) -- Spot wholesale power on the largest eastern U.S. grid jumped to a one-week high after two Midwest reactors and a coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania were shut.
The benchmark hub price for the PJM Interconnection LLC grid stretching from New Jersey into Illinois and North Carolina rose for the second time in three days. Exelon Corp.’s 2,238-megawatt LaSalle reactors outside of Chicago automatically halted after lightning caused a loss of offsite power, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. A coal-fired power plant in FirstEnergy Corp.’s Penelec utility area tripped offline at about 9:30 a.m., Genscape Inc. said.
PJM’s benchmark Western hub, which includes prices from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Washington, rose $1.80, or 3.6 percent, to $52.25 a megawatt-hour from yesterday’s on-peak average, the most since April 10, data from the grid operator compiled by Bloomberg show. On-peak prices extend from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The PJM grid covers an area from New Jersey into North Carolina and Illinois.
“With the generation outages between yesterday and today, the supply stack is definitely much thinner,” said Diana Chiyangwa, a Boston-based power analyst for Genscape, which tracks real-time plant operations. “The evening peak will likely be more volatile” as demand increases.
LaSalle’s unit 1 and unit 2, about 70 miles (113 kilometers) southwest of Chicago, were operating at full capacity yesterday. The shutdown of the reactors drove Midwestern nuclear output down to 14,350 megawatts, or 67 percent of capacity, the first drop in 10 days, according to NRC data compiled by Bloomberg.
The 13 states covered by the PJM grid will see widespread above-average warmth today, WSI Corp. in Andover, Massachusetts, said. The high temperature in Chicago may reach 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius), 13 higher than usual, and Washington may be 8 above normal at 76 degrees, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.
Electricity consumption across the 13-state grid will rise to 92,551 megawatts at 8:30 p.m., 1.9 percent higher than yesterday’s peak of 90,819 megawatts at 4:20 p.m., PJM data show.
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