Winter won’t technically start for days, but bitter cold and icy weather has already pushed spot power prices up across the entire country.
On Dec. 9, the Northwest reported a spot power price of $93/MWh while New England reported a spot price of $90.71/MWh, which was more than 101% higher than the previous day’s price in New England, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) website.
In addition, all 10 EIA reporting regions showed spot power price increases Dec. 9.
“Another round of wintry weather is expected on Monday morning [Dec. 9],” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on its website. “The greatest area of concern is in central Virginia to southeast New York where freezing rain is possible. Some locations may see up to a quarter of an inch of ice before temperatures rise late Monday morning and the storm system departs.”
“A quick burst of snow is also possible for the Mid-Atlantic on Dec. 10. Temperatures will be 10 to near 30 degrees below average from the Great Lakes/Lower Mississippi Valley to the Rockies,” according to the National Weather Service.
Thankfully, nuclear plants across the nation have largely completed their fall refueling season and are available for the winter demand. Only a half-dozen power reactors were listed at zero percent generation Dec. 9 by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). One of those was the long-idle Fort Calhoun plant in Nebraska, which is operated by the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD).