Boston to Washington Power Prices Jump as Heat Boosts Demand

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Spot wholesale electricity prices increased from Boston to Washington as unusually hot weather stoked demand for air conditioning.

Power consumption in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions moved above the grid operators’ forecasts. The high temperature in New York City reached 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 Celsius), 10 above normal, while Washington jumped to 92, AccuWeather Inc. said on its website.

New England is relying on more expensive oil-fired units to help meet demand, lifting Boston prices to a 10-week high. New York City prices rebounded from a five-month low as the state grid exported power into western Massachusetts most of the day while hydropower supply from Canada dropped. PJM Interconnection LLC, which stretches from Washington to Chicago, expects demand to peak at a 12-week high.

Spot power at the hub serving Boston and Northeast Massachusetts quadrupled to $158.56 a megawatt-hour in the hour ended at 3 p.m. from the same time Wednesday, according to grid data compiled by Bloomberg. The average spot price for on-peak hours has more than doubled so far Thursday to $89.89, heading for the highest daily average since March 18.

ISO New England Inc. said that about 3 percent of its power supply was coming from oil-fired power plants around 3:27 p.m., compared with 0.1 percent a day earlier, according to data on its website.

New York

New York City prices gained $14.85, or 50 percent, to $44.61 a megawatt-hour in the hour. Average on-peak prices were up 60 percent at $30.19 from Wednesday’s full day average of $18.88, which was the lowest since Dec. 26.

Deliveries from Hydro-Quebec totaled 687 megawatts at 4 p.m., down from 1,301 megawatts around 9 a.m. and the expected imported volume of 1,284 megawatts, according to data from the New York Independent System Operator Inc.

In the mid-Atlantic, spot power at PJM’s benchmark Western hub, which includes Washington, rose $23.49, or 70 percent, to $56.83. The average on-peak price was up 23 percent at $41.87.

PJM, operator of the largest U.S. grid, said demand will peak at 121,785 megawatts in the hour ending at 5 p.m., the most since March 6.

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