New England sees gas, power prices plummet with thaw

With New England finally enjoying temperatures above freezing, both spot power and natural gas prices have plummeted in the region, according to the latest figures published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

In addition, figures released Feb. 17 by EIA show that spot prices in most organized markets are currently running below $2/mmBtu.

New England still lists the highest spot power and natural gas prices among organized markets at $36.31/MWh and $3.40/mmBtu respectively. But the spot power price is 27% less than the day before and the spot gas price is roughly 56% less than the day before, according to EIA.

Boston and much of the New England region was forecast to see high temperatures above 40 degrees on Feb. 17. That’s far different from days earlier when the high temperatures dipped into single digits.

Elsewhere on the East Coast, the Department of Energy (DOE) reported Feb. 16 that low pressure caused severe thunderstorms bringing high winds, hail, and tornadoes to parts of the Southeast and brought snow and ice to parts of the Mid-Atlantic on Feb. 15-16. Collectively the bad weather knocked out power to 318,873 customers from the Mid-Atlantic southward.

Temperatures are now rising in those two regions as well.

EIA’s figures also indicate that spot natural gas prices were less than $2/mmBtu in eight of the 10 organized markets in the nation.

The NYMEX futures price for March delivery of Henry Hub natural gas was listed at $1.90/mmBtu. The natural gas futures price from roughly one year earlier, around Feb. 12, 2015, was listed at roughly $2.71/mmBtu, according to data from EIA.

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.