Power Gains From Chicago to Washington as Demand Tops Forecasts

Spot wholesale electricity on the 13-state grid stretching from Chicago to Washington gained as demand topped forecasts and nuclear generation dropped.

Power consumption on the PJM Interconnection LLC network, the largest in the U.S. serving more than 60 million people, was 117,789 megawatts at 1:30 p.m., 9.8 percent higher than the day-ahead outlook of 107,231 megawatts for the time, according to its website.

Exelon Corp. shut reactors in Pennsylvania and in Illinois in the past two days and Dominion Resources Inc. took a Virginia unit offline on Sept. 7, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The combined nameplate capacity of these units and a Maryland reactor shut last week units is 4.3 gigawatts, or 11 percent of PJM’s nuclear capacity, Energy Information Administration data show.

“Temperatures rising across the RTO this week, combined with over four gigawatts of nuclear generation that is out on maintenance, will bolster energy costs for the PJM footprint,” said Diana Chiyangwa, a Boston-based power analyst for Genscape Inc. “Simultaneously, congestion resulting from these outages will also push up prices.”

Spot prices at PJM’s Western hub, which includes deliveries to Washington, almost doubled to average $75.52 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 2 p.m. from the same time on Sept. 6, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

The high temperature in Chicago today may be 89 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius), 11 above normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania. Washington’s reading may climb to 80 degrees, 2 lower than average.

Reactors Shut

Exelon shut the Peach Bottom 3 reactor, 47 miles (76 kilometers) southeast of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the Braidwood 1 reactor 54 miles southwest of Chicago for refueling and maintenance, the company said in statements.

North Anna 1, Dominion’s plant 40 miles northwest of Richmond, Virginia, began a refueling and maintenance outage on Sept. 7, said Roger Hannah, a spokesman for the NRC in Atlanta.

Peach Bottom 3 has a nameplate capacity of 1,160 megawatts. Braidwood can produce 1,225 and North Anna 980.

Spot electricity for New York City gained, reversing earlier losses, rising $9.27, or 30 percent, to average $39.78 a megawatt-hour in the hour ended at 2 p.m. Boston prices were up 90 cents, or 3 percent, at $31.17.

On-peak power for New York traded at a premium of $6.09 versus Boston from 71 cents on Sept. 6.

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