Texas Electricity Prices Rise as Hot Weather Boosts Demand

Spot wholesale electricity jumped in Texas as warmer-than-normal weather boosted demand above expectations. Power rose in Boston amid higher natural gas prices and a transmission line outage.

Use on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. network averaged 62,517 megawatts for the hour ended at 3 p.m. local time, versus the data-ahead forecast of 61,431 megawatts, according to the grid’s website.

The temperature in Houston reached 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 Celsius) as of 3 p.m. today, 5 above the historical average high for the date, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Spot power at the Ercot North hub, which includes Dallas, advanced $12.97, or 36 percent, to average $49.33 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 3 p.m. from the same time July 11, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show. Houston hub prices gained $7.29, or 18 percent, to average $48.85.

Spot power at the Boston hub rose $20.94, or 53 percent, to average $60.82 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 4 p.m. New York time from the same time July 11. New York City power advanced $5.94, or 12 percent, to average $54.52.

An outage on a transmission line from Brighton, a neighborhood in Boston, to Cambridge, Massachusetts, contributed to the wholesale power price increase there, Kate Trischitta, the director of trading at Consolidated Edison Inc.’s wholesale energy trading unit in Valhalla, New York, said in a telephone interview. The outage has been in place about a week and is expected to last through August, she said.

On-Peak Power

New York on-peak power traded $12.15 below Boston, compared with a premium of $6.37 on July 11 and a three-month average premium of 88 cents for New York.

Spot power at PJM Interconnection LLC’s benchmark Western hub, which includes Washington, fell $32.88, or 30 percent, to average $75.44 a megawatt-hour at 4 p.m., while prices at the Eastern hub, which includes New Jersey, reversed earlier declines and rose $19.36, or 17 percent, to average $135.99.

Lower prices in some mid-Atlantic states came after Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. restarted its Salem 2 nuclear reactor near Wilmington, Delaware. The reactor, with nameplate capacity of 1,170 megawatts, was running at 18 percent of power early today, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, The plant shut April 12 for refueling.

PJM West on-peak power traded $11.46 below the Eastern hub, compared with a discount of $2.69 on July 11 and a three-month average discount of $5.57 for PJM West.

In New York, natural gas futures advanced from a six-month low. Natural gas for August delivery rose 0.1 cent to settle at $4.147 per million British thermal units on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures are up 14 percent from a year ago. Power plants account for 31 percent of U.S. gas demand.

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