East Coast Wholesale Power Jumps as Heat Boosts Air Conditioning

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Wholesale power surged across eastern U.S. markets as a blast of hot weather spurred demand to run air conditioners.

The heat and high humidity were forecast from New England to the mid-Atlantic region through Thursday, according to WSI Corp., a weather services company in Andover, Massachusetts. The high in New York Tuesday was forecast to be 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius), 11 above normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. Cooling accounts for 6 percent of an average household’s energy use, government data show.

Power consumption in Manhattan and its four neighboring boroughs jumped 6.4 percent at 4 p.m. from a day earlier, according to the New York Independent System Operator Inc.

“Actual demand in New York City has been tracking above forecast due to high temperatures and humidity, hence driving strong real-time prices,” Armagan Yavuz, a Boston-based analyst of the New York market for Genscape Inc., said in an e-mail. “New York City is highly dependent on power flows from the surrounding regions as it is not capable of meeting its demand by local generators.”

Spot wholesale power for New York jumped $85.35, or 85 percent, to average $186.26 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 4 p.m. from the same time a day earlier, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

Consolidated Edison Inc., owner of New York City’s electric utility, declared a minimum oil burn day early Tuesday, prompting more expensive output. A minimum oil burn day is called in anticipation of higher demand.

PJM Weather

Power in PJM Interconnection LLC’s benchmark Western hub also gained. The mid-Atlantic grid may see the hottest weather and highest power consumption of the summer this week, Sam Johnson, a power analyst for Genscape, said in an e-mail.

Power in the West hub, which includes deliveries to Washington, more than doubled, jumping $73.71 to average $140.06 a megawatt-hour.

Power demand in the mid-Atlantic grid jumped 6.4 percent at 1 p.m. from the same time Monday. Electricity use in the 13-state system may peak at 144,116 megawatts at 5 p.m., surpassing the summer peak reached last year, PJM spokesman Ray Dotter said in an e-mail.