Power prices remain low as many nuclear units refuel

Signs of the autumn shoulder season are abundant in the power industry as spot electric prices remain low and many nuclear units undergo scheduled outages.

Spot power prices as reported by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) remained below $50/MWh in all 10 EIA reporting regions during the week of Sept. 23 through Sept. 27.

Going into Sept. 30, the high temperature predicated for Los Angeles is 86 degrees F; Chicago is 75 degrees; a high of 73 degrees is expected in Washington, D.C. and New York City; Boston’s high is predicted to be 68 degrees.

A number of nuclear plant outages are underway, most for regularly scheduled refueling and maintenance outages.

Among those currently offline include FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE) Beaver Valley 1 (900 MW); Exelon’s Peach Bottom 3 (1,100 MW); Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) Catawba 2 (1,100 MW) and the Southern (NYSE:SO) Farley 1 (875 MW); Dominion (NYSE:D) North Anna 1 (950 MW); Duke’s H.B. Robinson 2 (750 MW); NextEra (NYSE:NEE) Saint Lucie 1 (980 MW); Exelon’s Braidwood 1(1,150 MW) Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) Prairie Island 2 (550 MW); and Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Fort Calhoun (500 MW).

Typically most U.S. nuclear units now shut down for refueling and routine maintenance every 18 months with the outages occurring in the spring or fall seasons when power demand dips.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.