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Power Prices Gain on Texas Grid as Hotter Weather Lifts Demand

By: Naureen S. Malik |

Spot wholesale electricity gained in Texas as the hottest weather in more than week bolstered demand.

The high temperature in Dallas today may be 103 degrees Fahrenheit (39 Celsius), 7 above normal, while Houston’s reading will climb to 100, 8 above the average, according to AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

Power demand on the main state grid operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas Inc. was 63,228 megawatts at 3:32 p.m. local time, topping the day-ahead outlook for the hour by 4.1 percent, according to its website.

“We are seeing some higher prices today,” Robbie Searcy, a spokeswoman for Ercot in Austin, said in an e-mail. “With the resources we currently have available, we don’t expect any problems at peak today. If we lost a lot of generation, that could change. But Friday peaks tend to drop very quickly.”

Spot prices at the Ercot North hub, which includes deliveries to Dallas, rose $2.23, or 4.8 percent, to $48.79 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 3 p.m. local time from the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed.

Ercot expects demand to peak at 64,201 megawatts today, up from yesterday’s high of 61,770 megawatts.

New England prices slipped as demand fell below forecasts. Boston power fell $6.50, or 17 percent, to $31.27 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 4 p.m. from a day earlier.

New York prices were up $5.29, or 16 percent, at $38.86 at 4 p.m. from the same time yesterday.

On-peak power for Boston traded at a premium of 72 cents to New York City, up from a discount of $1.62 yesterday, based on full-day average prices.

Prices were little changed on the 13-state PJM Interconnection LLC serving more than 60 million people from Washington to Chicago. Spot power at its benchmark Western hub was down 58 cents, or 1.6 percent, at $36.18.

Spot power also declined in California and the Midwest.