Mid-Atlantic, NYC spot power prices eclipse $200/MWh mark

Frigid low temperatures continue to drive up spot power and natural gas prices in much of the East as both the Mid-Atlantic and New York City posted spot power prices above $215/MWh.

According to figures posted Feb. 19 by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the Mid-Atlantic posted the nation’s highest spot power price at $279.16/MWh.

The Mid-Atlantic saw its spot power price increase 112% from the prior day. The unusually high spot power price combined with the $19.75/mmBtu spot price for natural gas gave the region a spark spread of $140.93/MWh.

New York City posted the nation’s second-highest spot power price at $215.90/MWh. New York City also recorded the nation’s highest spot natural gas price at $35.37/mmBtu.

Industry observers might recall that in December New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo moved to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York State because of concerns over health risks.

New England, which has experienced high prices throughout the winter, saw its spot power price decline slightly to $152.60/MWh.

Five of the 10 EIA regions saw spot power prices at $60/MWh or above. The other five were listed at $32/MWh or below.

Likewise, spot natural gas prices in the 10 regions were either very expensive or very cheap. Four of the 10 regions listed spot gas prices in excess of $10/mmBtu. Yet the other six listed spot gas prices below $3/mmBtu.

Very cold temperatures remain in place over much of the eastern half of the U.S. Many locations will see temperatures 25 to 45 degrees below average with some records threatened, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Even some Southeast locales are feeling the cold. New Orleans is only expecting a high of 49 degrees F on Feb. 19 and Atlanta should only see a high of 26 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 wayneb@pennwell.com.