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Mid-Atlantic Power Prices Jump as Cold Weather Boosts Demand

Spot wholesale electricity rose from Washington to New York as frigid weather boosted demand on the largest U.S. power grid.

Power use on the 13-state PJM Interconnection LLC network jumped 3.2 percent to average 113,745 megawatts for the hour ended at 3 p.m. New York time from the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The high temperature today in Washington may reach 31 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 1 Celsius), 15 below the historical average, while in New York, the high may reach 25 degrees, 16 below normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Spot power at PJM’s benchmark Western hub, which includes Washington, gained $23.34, or 22 percent, to average $129.33 a megawatt hour at 3 p.m., while prices at the Eastern hub, which includes New Jersey, advanced $44.88, or 44 percent, to average $148.09.

PJM West on-peak power traded $31.07 below the Eastern hub, compared with a discount of $15.22 yesterday and a three-month average discount of $11.94 for PJM West.

Spot prices in New York rose $28.91, or 16 percent, to average $207.88 a megawatt-hour at 3 p.m., while prices in Boston slid $28.02, or 14 percent, to average $176.68.

New York on-peak power traded $35.22 above Boston, compared with a premium of $19.30 yesterday and a three-month average discount for New York of $16.16.

Winter Storm

A snowstorm is expected to hit cities in the Northeast tonight and tomorrow, said Tom Kines, a meteorologist with AccuWeather. New York and Washington may receive 8 inches (20 centimeters) of snow in the next two days, the National Weather Service said.

New York-based Consolidated Edison Inc. and the Maryland Public Service Commission warned of the potential for power outages from the storm.

In Texas, spot power at the North hub, which includes Dallas, fell $43.43, or 53 percent, to average $39.11 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 2 p.m. local time from the same time yesterday. Houston hub prices declined $41.53, or 51 percent, to average $39.66.

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