Spot power prices drop below $45/MWh in all EIA markets

A few weeks after the Northeast was still seeing daily spot power prices in excess of $100/MWh, none of the 10 organized markets tracked by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) are showing spot power prices above $45/MWh.

According to data posted March 25 by EIA, New York City had the highest reported spot power price at only $44.97/MWh, a figure that’s 21% lower than the prior business day. New England had the second lowest spot power price at $ 42.53/MWh, which is about 37% lower than the prior day.

The eight other markets showed spot power prices below $40/MWh.

Regional spot natural gas prices ranged from $1.99/mmBtu in the Mid-Atlantic to $3.92/mmBtu in New England.

On the natural gas front, the firm RBN Energy said in a March 19 blog post that cold weather, abundant supplies of natural gas and lower-than-normal winter gas prices spurred record electric power gas consumption in January and February, and the power burn for the rest of 2015 could be record-breaking too

On the power market in the West, the firm Genscape said in a March 24 blog posting that significant changes are taking place with the California ISO. While vast areas of the West remain outside of “organized” markets – such as PJM and the Midcontinent ISO in the East – changes are also coming to markets in the West, Genscape said.

“In addition to modeling more external flow, the CAISO is expanding its Energy Imbalance Market (EIM) to expand eastward,” West Desk Director Chris Jylkka said in the Genscape commentary.

“The balancing authority area of PacifiCorp was integrated into CAISO November 2014, and the balancing authority of Nevada is scheduled to be added in fall of 2015. Just announced, Puget Sound Energy said they would join in the fall of 2016. Additionally, the Public Utility Commission of Oregon has issued a directive to the utility Portland General to explore joining the CAISO EIM,” Genscape said in the analysis.

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.