Winter weather drives up power prices in Western United States

Winter weather conditions are affecting much of the country Dec. 5, especially in the West – and power prices are acting accordingly.

The Northwest again reported the highest spot power price in the United States at $84.50/MWh, according to figures posted by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In fact all five EIA reporting regions West of the Mississippi River listed increases in spot power prices Dec. 5. Houston’s spot price was $40.50/MWh; the Southwest was listed at $46.25; Southern California was listed at $55.77 and Northern California at $58.20.

“Cold air is plunging into the Western and Central U.S., as heavy snow continues across the Northern Plains and Great Lakes,” according to the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“As the system moves east and south, a major icing event is forecast for portions of the Southern Plains to the Ozarks and into the Ohio Valley beginning Thursday,” the forecast goes on to say.

Tulsa, Okla., is expecting a high of 30 degrees F for Dec. 5; the high in Los Angeles is forecast to be 57 degrees; San Francisco’s high is a predicted 55 degrees and the high in Seattle is forecast to be 34 degrees.

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