New York Power Doubles as Winter Storm Targets U.S. East Coast

Power prices in New York more than doubled ahead of a winter storm barreling up from the South that’s threatening to bring record snow and blizzard conditions.

Freezing cold and overcast skies boosted demand for electricity in Manhattan and its four neighboring boroughs by 3.1 percent at 3 p.m. Friday from a day earlier, data from the New York Independent System Operator Inc. showed. The city, which may start to get snowfall early Saturday, was forecast to see a low of 25 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 4 Celsius), 2 below normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. of State College, Pennsylvania.

"As the storm moves up north, that’s driving demand higher than expectations," said Diana Chiyangwa, Boston-based power analyst for Genscape Inc. "Overcast conditions are driving up lighting demand."

Spot wholesale power for New York gained $29.29 to average $53.13 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 3 p.m. local time on Friday from the same time a day earlier, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

The operator of the largest U.S. power grid in the mid-Atlantic, which may bear the brunt of the storm, said that it anticipates having adequate power reserves.

"The system has adequate generation available to meet power needs," PJM Interconnection LLC, the system manger, said in an e-mailed statement. "Demand is expected to be naturally lighter because of the weekend."

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