Mid-Atlantic Spot Power Gains as Warmer Weather Stokes Demand

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Spot wholesale power prices jumped on the U.S. grid stretching from the mid-Atlantic to Midwest as warmer weather stoked demand to run air conditioners.

Demand was coming in above forecasts on the 13-state grid managed by PJM Interconnection LLC. The high temperature in Washington may be 87 degrees Fahrenheit (31 Celsius), 5 above normal, while Chicago may be 3 above average at 81, according to AccuWeather Inc.

Spot power at PJM’s benchmark Western hub, which includes Washington, rose $14.68, or 60 percent, to $39.13 a megawatt-hour in the hour ended at 4 p.m. from the same time June 5, according to grid data compiled by Bloomberg. The Eastern hub, including New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, climbed $10.28, or 41 percent, to $35.49.

The premium for on-peak prices at the Western versus the Eastern hub was $3.48, compared with a full-day average of $3.54 on June 5.

PJM says electricity consumption will peak at 115,249 megawatts in the hour ending at 6 p.m., which would be the most in 10 days. Demand will continue to rise as hotter weather moves across the region, pushing peak demand to as high as 131,981 megawatts on June 12, according to the grid operator’s website.

New York City prices also advanced as demand jumped above forecasts. Consumption in the city’s five boroughs totaled 7,378 megawatts at 4:20, 4.9 percent higher than the day-ahead projection, according to the state grid manager. Spot electricity rose $6.06, or 33 percent, to $24.55 a megawatt-hour in the hour ended at 4 p.m. from the same hour on June 5.

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