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Power Prices Slide on Eastern U.S. Grids Amid Milder Weather

By: Naureen S. Malik |

Spot wholesale electricity declined on grids in the eastern U.S. as milder weather reduced demand for air conditioning.

Power consumption in New York City headed for a 12-week low while demand dropped in New England and the Midwest. Prices on the 13-state network operated by PJM Interconnection LLC slid for a fourth straight day along with electricity use.

Temperatures will be mostly below normal from New England through the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states until Sept. 10, according to WSI Corp. in Andover, Massachusetts. The high in Manhattan today may be 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Celsius) and Washington may be 77, 6 below normal for both cities, said AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

“We’ve got some weather that’s coming in that’s alleviating some of the cooling load,” said Michael Harris, chief executive officer of Unified Energy Services LLC, the Houston-based retail energy consulting unit of brokerage Tullett Prebon Group Ltd.

Spot prices for New York fell $12.34, or 29 percent, to average $30.95 a megawatt-hour as of 1 p.m. from the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show. Boston fell $11.77, or 28 percent, to $30.51.

The premium for New York City on-peak prices narrowed to 75 cents versus Boston from $2.66 yesterday.

The New York Independent System Operator Inc. expected demand in Manhattan and its four neighboring boroughs to climb today to 6,899 megawatts, the lowest hourly peak for a weekday since June 14, grid data show.

Power use on the PJM system, which serves more than 60 million people, including residents of Washington, Philadelphia and Chicago, will peak at 101,982 megawatts, the least for any weekday since Aug. 16, PJM data show.

Spot electricity at PJM’s benchmark Western hub, which includes deliveries to Washington, slid $2.99, or 7.6 percent, to $36.43 a megawatt-hour as of 1 p.m.

Prices were also lower at southern and western power hubs serving Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Dallas.