PJM Western Hub Power Gains as Colder Weather Boosts Demand

Wholesale electricity on the eastern U.S. grid operated by PJM Interconnection LLC climbed to the highest level in more than two weeks as a cold snap lifted demand above forecasts.

Prices covering on-peak hours, which span 7 a.m. through 11 p.m., gained 48 percent from yesterday’s full-day average with power consumption coming in about 3 percent to 5 percent above yesterday’s outlook. The Northeast and mid-Atlantic states will see below-normal temperatures today, according to WSI Corp. in Andover, Massachusetts.

Electricity at PJM’s benchmark Western Hub, which includes prices from Pennsylvania to Washington, rose $19.12 to $59.24 a megawatt-hour at 4 p.m. from yesterday’s on-peak average, the highest since March 18, according to the grid operator. Earlier the average surged to a 10-week high after parts of the region saw near-freezing weather.

The high today in Washington may be 53 degrees Fahrenheit (12 Celsius), 10 below normal, and while Philadelphia may see a high of 55 degrees, 5 lower than the usual reading, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Power usage across the 13-state grid, which runs from New Jersey into North Carolina and Illinois, surged to 102,183 megawatts at 7:20 a.m. today, exceeding the grid operator’s peak-demand forecast of 98,913 megawatts at 7:30 a.m.

Spot electricity in the Midwest rose while declining in New England and New York City.

Midwest Benchmark

The Indiana hub, a benchmark for the Midwest, climbed $5.40, 16 percent, to $38.23 a megawatt-hour at noon local time from yesterday’s on-peak average, data from the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator Inc. showed.

On-peak prices on the six-state grid from Connecticut to Maine slipped $3.79, or 7.4 percent, to $47.75 a megawatt-hour, ISO New England Inc. data showed.

New York City prices slid for the first time in six days, dropping $13.21, or 23 percent, to $43.49 a megawatt-hour from yesterday’s on-peak average, according to the New York Independent System Operator Inc.

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