Nuclear Unit Outage Plus Wind Not Blowing Equals Power Gains

Reduced power output often means higher prices. That was certainly true for the mid-Atlantic and Midwest states on Friday.

Spot wholesale electricity gained on the 13-state PJM Interconnection LLC network, which stretches from Washington to Chicago, and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. grid that covers from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast amid an Illinois nuclear plant shutdown and lower wind generation.

Exelon Corp. shut its LaSalle 2 nuclear reactor 70 miles southwest of Chicago, with maximum summer capacity of 1,120 megawatts, for planned maintenance on two pumps that circulate water inside the reactor. MISO wind production, meanwhile, averaged 1,359 megawatts at 11 a.m. local time, below the day-ahead forecast of 1,627 megawatts, according to the grid’s website.

Spot power at PJM’s benchmark Western hub, which includes Washington, rose 47 cents, or 1.6 percent, to average $29.36 a megawatt-hour at noon New York time, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed. Power at the Eastern hub, which includes New Jersey, advanced $1.63, or 5.8 percent, to average $29.93 a megawatt-hour.

PJM West on-peak power traded 74 cents above the Eastern hub, compared with a discount of $2.75 on Thursday and a three-month average premium of $2.21 for PJM West.

At the Indiana hub, a regional benchmark for the Midwest, spot power gained $2.50, or 9.4 percent, to average $29.06 a megawatt-hour at 11 a.m. local time.

Natural gas for September delivery fell 4.1 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $2.772 per million British thermal units at 12:38 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. About 30 percent of U.S. electricity is generated using gas.

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