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Wholesale Power Declines at Major U.S. Hubs Amid Mild Weather

April 30 (Bloomberg) -- Spot wholesale electricity prices at major U.S. hubs dropped as moderate weather limited demand.

Temperatures nationwide were more seasonal in eastern and southern states while the weather was forecast to be fair to warm in California and most of the Midwest, according to WSI Corp. in Andover, Massachusetts. Demand across the six regional power markets in the lower 48 states has been below or near yesterday’s levels.

Spot on-peak power at PJM Interconnection LLC’s benchmark Western hub, which includes prices from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Washington, fell $8.16, or 18 percent, to $37.30 a megawatt-hour at 4:13 p.m. from yesterday’s full-day average, the least since April 5, data from the grid operator compiled by Bloomberg show. On-peak hours are from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

“The weather is moderating here a bit and gas is softer across the board,” said Tom Hahn, vice president of U.S. power derivatives at brokerage ICAP Energy LLC in Durham, North Carolina. “Everything is down in sympathy with that.”

New York City power fell $17.83, or 32 percent, to $38.54, and New England prices slid $14.10, or 22 percent, to $51.42. Prices on the main Texas grid fell $45.27, or 59 percent, to $30.86 after jumping to $76.13 yesterday because of two unplanned power-generation outages, according to data from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc.

On-peak price averages also dropped across the California and Midwest hubs, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Boston Gas

Spot gas prices at Algonquin City Gates, which includes delivery to Boston, fell 5.2 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $4.6547 per million British thermal units on the Intercontinental Exchange, the least since April 18.

Gas accounted for about 63 percent of the power generated on the six-state New England grid at 3:42 p.m., compared with 58 percent on March 28, according to ISO New England Inc.’s website.

Nuclear power generation rose 1 percent today to 76,220 megawatts, or 75 percent of capacity, as reactors in Illinois and Arizona increased output, according to Nuclear Regulatory Commission data compiled by Bloomberg. A drop in nuclear generation can increase consumption of more costly fossil fuels to generate electricity.

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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