Power Jumps in Midwest as Xcel Shuts Minnesota Reactor

Spot wholesale electricity advanced across Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. territory as demand rose and supply was cut after a Minnesota nuclear reactor was shut for maintenance.

Use on the MISO network, which stretches from Canada across the Midwest and down to the U.S. Gulf Coast, was 83,882 megawatts at 12:25 p.m. New York time, versus the day-ahead forecast of 81,786 megawatts, according to the grid’s website.

The low temperature today in Indianapolis may fall to 25 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 4 Celsius), 5 below yesterday, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Spot power at the Indiana hub, a regional benchmark, gained $9.66, or 33 percent, to average $38.55 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 11 a.m. local time from the same time yesterday, after more than doubling to average $84.34 a megawatt-hour earlier in the day, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show. Power at the Minnesota hub advanced $10.90, or 37 percent, to average $40.50 a megawatt-hour, after more than tripling earlier to average $102.64 a megawatt-hour.

Xcel Energy Inc. said it shut the Prairie Island 1 nuclear reactor, which is 40 miles southeast of Minneapolis, to replace a coolant pump seal. The work was expected to last “a little more than a week,” Xcel said in a statement. The unit, which has a nameplate capacity of 593 megawatts, was operating at full power yesterday, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

New York

New York City power fell $1.25, or 3.6 percent, to average $33.70 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at noon from the same time yesterday, while Boston power gained $17.92, or 38 percent, to average $64.55.

New York on-peak power traded $18.41 below Boston, compared with a discount of $6.69 yesterday and a three-month average discount of $5.18.

Natural gas for January delivery fell 6.9 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $3.637 per million British thermal units at 1:05 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. About 27 percent of the power in the U.S. is generated using gas.

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