Much of the East Coast continues to shiver under protracted cold weather and it has driven up spot power and natural gas prices in the affected regions, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
New York City had the highest spot power price posted by EIA on Feb. 18 at $162.96/MWh. New England, which has been above $100/MWh for much of the past couple of weeks, was second highest at $157.85/MWh.
Finally, the Mid-Atlantic saw its spot power price surge 65% from the prior day to $131.60/MWh.
The same three regions are experiencing unusually high spot natural gas prices.
The spot price for gas in New York City was $26.67/mmBtu followed by New England at $25.50/mmBtu and the Mid-Atlantic at $18.09/mmBtu.
The other seven regions that report data to EIA did not show any spot power prices above $35/MWh and the spot gas prices were all below $4/mmBtu.
The National Weather Service said that “exceptionally cold air will dominate the eastern half of the U.S.” on Wednesday, Feb. 18 and many records will be threatened as temperatures plummet to as much as 25-30 degrees below normal for this time of year,
A number of utilities in the East are reporting high demand and outages. Utilities such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and SCANA (NYSE:SCG) South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) are urging conservation.
On the baseload nuclear energy front, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) only showed five reactors offline early Feb. 18. One unit that had been offline the previous day, the Entergy (NYSE:ETR) Pilgrim facility in Massachusetts, was listed at 18% generation on Feb. 18.