The big chill that continues to grip the Eastern United States, which includes some of the coldest temperatures since the 1990s, has kept spot power and natural gas prices at elevated levels, according to Feb. 20 data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Three regions in the East continue to list spot power prices in excess of $150/MWh and spot natural gas prices of more than $15/mmBtu.
New York City had both the highest spot power price in the nation at $222.70/MWh and the highest spot gas price at $22.35/mmBtu.
The Mid-Atlantic listed a spot power price of $164.23/MWh and a spot natural gas price of $16.64/mmBtu. New England had a spot power price of $152.85/MWh and a spot gas price of $17.25/mmBtu.
Spark spreads were listed at $66.25/MWh for New York City; $47.74/MWh for the Mid-Atlantic and $32.10/MWh for New England. The spark spread is a common metric for estimating the profitability of natural gas-fired electric generators.
Meanwhile, the other seven regions monitored regularly by EIA all recorded spot power prices below $48/MWh and spot natural gas prices at below $6/mmBtu.
The Nymex Henry Hub futures price for March delivery of natural gas was listed at $2.83/mmBtu. The natural gas futures price is currently about $2.72/mmBtu cheaper than it was one year ago, according to EIA data.
On the baseload nuclear energy front, five of the nation’s 99 commercial reactors were listed at zero generation early Feb. 20 by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).