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Power Prices Drops Along U.S. East Coast on Lower Demand

July 25 (Bloomberg) -- Spot wholesale electricity slid from New York to Boston as the price of natural gas, a fuel used in power generation, fell and cooler-than-normal weather reduced demand.

Spot power in the mid-Atlantic states reversed earlier declines and rose as Exelon Corp. cut output at a Maryland nuclear reactor.

Use in New York City fell 3.6 percent to average 8,225 megawatts for the hour ended at 4 p.m. from the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

The high temperature today in New York may reach 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 Celsius), 2 below normal, while in Boston the high reached 81 degrees as of 4 p.m., 1 below the historical average, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Spot power in New York City declined $4.41, or 12 percent, to average $32.81 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 4 p.m. from that time yesterday, the grid data showed. Boston power dropped $21.50, or 46 percent, to average $25.10.

New York on-peak power traded $8.81 above Boston, compared with a discount of $3.04 yesterday and a three-month average discount of $1.66 for New York.

PJM West spot power gained $12.42, or 35 percent, to average $47.77 a megawatt-hour at 4 p.m., while PJM East prices advanced $13.55, or 36 percent, to average $50.87. The benchmark Western hub includes Washington, while the Eastern hub includes New Jersey.

Calvert Cliffs

The price increases came after Exelon’s Calvert Cliffs 1 nuclear reactor’s output was cut to 12 percent from full power yesterday, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Nameplate capacity of the unit 38 miles from Annapolis, Maryland, is 918 megawatts, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

PJM West on-peak power traded $1.37 below the Eastern hub, compared with a discount of $1.61 yesterday and a three-month average discount of $6.28 for PJM West.

Natural gas for August delivery fell 6.6 cents, or 1.7 percent, to settle at $3.781 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures are down 11 percent this year and dropped 4.3 percent this week. Power plants account for 31 percent of U.S. gas demand.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at dmarino4@bloomberg.net Richard Stubbe, Charlotte Porter

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