Power Rises From 7-Week Low in Boston as Nuclear Output Slows

Spot wholesale electricity in Boston climbed from a seven-week low as nuclear generation slowed and power exports from New England increased.

Entergy Corp. reduced production at its Pilgrim 1 reactor, about 4 miles (6 kilometers) east of Plymouth, Massachusetts, by 300 megawatts starting around 7:30 a.m. today, according to Genscape Inc., a Boston-based provider of power data. The unit was operating at full capacity early today, a Nuclear Energy Regulatory Commission filing shows.

Power demand from Maine to Connecticut is coming in below forecasts amid mild weather. New England’s net exports of electricity to the New York state grid totaled 254 megawatts at 1:54 p.m. versus 57 megawatts a day earlier, according to the New York Independent System Operator Inc.’s website.

Spot wholesale electricity in Boston rose $10.77, or 41 percent, to $37.33 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 4 p.m. from the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show.

On-peak prices are averaging $35.81, up 32 percent from yesterday’s full-day average of $27.20, the lowest level since Aug. 5. On-peak hours on the grid are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m.

The cut in Pilgrim’s generation today was planned to flush out the condenser to clean it, Neil Sheehan, a spokesman for the NRC in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, said in an e-mail. “They do this periodically.”

Pilgrim Reactor

The unit is expected to return to full capacity by the end of the day, said Jesse Fitzmaurice, a Boston-based analyst with Genscape. Pilgrim’s nameplate capacity is 670 megawatts, Energy Information Administration data show.

Entergy’s policy is to not comment on the status of its plants in competitive power markets, Carol Wightman, a spokeswoman at the plant, said in an e-mail.

Temperatures will be seasonal or lower from the Northeast into the Midwest today, according to WSI Corp. in Andover, Massachusetts. The high in Boston today reached 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 Celsius), 3 below normal, while Washington’s high was 8 lower than average at 63, data show from AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

ISO New England Inc. said on its website that power demand on the six-state grid was 14,596 megawatts at 4:40 p.m., 0.5 percent below the day-ahead outlook for the hour. Demand also dropped on the grids stretching from New York to Washington and Chicago.

New York

New York City prices reversed earlier gains as bottlenecks on transmission lines in the southwest part of the state grid eased while imports from New England increased. Spot power for the city slipped $9.34, or 24 percent, to $30.08 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 4 p.m.

The premium for New York City on-peak power versus Boston narrowed to $5.75 from $11.90 yesterday.

Prices on the 13-state PJM Interconnection LLC network slid amid mild weather and increased nuclear generation.

Exelon Corp. returned its 636-megawatt Oyster Creek 1 nuclear reactor in New Jersey to full power at 9 a.m. today following planned work to repair a component that controls turbine speed, Suzanne D’Ambrosio, a spokeswoman at the plant, said in an e-mailed statement. The unit was operating at 62 percent of capacity early today, NRC data show.

PJM’s benchmark Western hub, which includes deliveries to Washington, dropped $2.52, or 7.5 percent, to $30.89 a megawatt-hour. The hub’s premium versus the Eastern hub, which includes New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, widened to $2.43 from 25 cents yesterday.

Texas prices climbed as demand topped forecasts. The Houston hub was up $8.17, or 26 percent, at $39.91 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 3 p.m. local time.

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