Windy Upstate New York Sends Manhattan Power Prices Lower

  • NYC wholesale electricity prices drop to two-month low
  • Transmission line bottlenecks stop prices falling even more

It’s a lot windier in upstate New York on Thursday. That’s turning out to be a boon for power users in Manhattan.

Spot wholesale electricity in the city slumped to a two-month low even as consumption exceeded the grid operator’s forecast. That’s in part because the 321-megawatt Maple Ridge Wind Project, about 75 miles (121 kilometers) northeast of Syracuse, is operating almost at full capacity versus just 70 megawatts on Wednesday, according to Genscape Inc.

“The increase in wind power is lowering power prices across the state,” said Ben Chamberlain, an analyst with Genscape in Boston.  

The average price for spot on-peak power for New York City slid 34 percent so far Thursday to $17.72 a megawatt-hour at 3 p.m., heading for the lowest daily average since Sept. 14, according to New York Independent System Operator Inc. data compiled by Bloomberg. By comparison, Mohawk Valley, a zone northwest of the city, is down 56 percent to an average spot price of $10.07.

The outage of a transmission line is creating occasional bottlenecks on the
grid, which keeps power from these wind farms from freely flowing to the city,
Chamberlain said.

“Power is fairly cheap, but the constraint keeps Manhattan from dropping to be as cheap as upstate.”

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