Midwest Power Gains as Michigan Nuclear Reactor Cuts Output

Spot wholesale electricity jumped in the Midwest as demand rose and output at a Michigan nuclear power reactor was reduced.

Use on the Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. network was 77,292 megawatts at 10:15 a.m. local time, above the day-ahead forecast of 76,831 megawatts, according to the grid’s website.

The high temperature in Indianapolis may reach 42 degrees Fahrenheit (6 Celsius), 13 below normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Spot power at the Indiana hub, a regional benchmark, rose $22.84, or 75 percent, to average $53.33 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 10 a.m. Monday from the same hour March 20, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show. Power at the Michigan hub advanced $23.81, or 77 percent, to average $54.80.

American Electric Power Company Inc’s D.C. Cook 2 reactor in Bridgman, Michigan, with nameplate capacity of 1,133 megawatts, was cut to 49 percent of capacity, after operating at full power Sunday, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Unit 2 will begin a refueling outage Tuesday at midnight, according to a company press release. Power was reduced at the unit for equipment testing prior to the outage.

At PJM Interconnection LLC’s benchmark Western hub, which includes Washington, spot power reversed earlier gains and fell $15.89, or 29 percent, to average $39.63 a megawatt-hour for the hour ended at 11 a.m. eastern time. Power at the Eastern hub, which includes New Jersey, slid $22.33, or 41 percent, to $31.58 a megawatt-hour.

Nuclear Plants

Exelon Corp.’s Oyster Creek nuclear reactor 33 miles north of Atlantic City, New Jersey, shut after a pressure regulator failure, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Output at Public Service Enterprise Group Inc.’s Salem 1 reactor near Wilmington, Delaware, was raised to 46 percent of capacity from 3 percent on Sunday. Oyster Creek has nameplate capacity of 550 megawatts, while Salem 1 has capacity of 1,170 megawatts.

PJM West on-peak power traded $14.50 above the Eastern hub, compared with a premium of $4.66 on March 20 and a three-month average discount of $10.04 for PJM West.

Natural gas for April delivery fell 7.6 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $2.71 per million British thermal units at 11:58 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. About 27 percent of power in the U.S. is generated using gas.

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