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Power Prices Slump on Eastern U.S. Grids as Heat Moderates

By: Naureen S. Malik |

Spot wholesale electricity prices slumped from the East Coast to the Midwest as a blast of heat faded, reducing the need to run air conditioners.

Prices on the three Eastern U.S. grids fell more than 70 percent after surging to a seven-week high yesterday in Boston, New York, and the PJM Interconnection LLC region, which includes Washington and Chicago.

The high in Manhattan today may be 87 degrees Fahrenheit (31 Celsius), 11 above normal, according to AccuWeather Inc. in state College, Pennsylvania. Temperatures in Central Park reached 96 yesterday, the National Weather Service said.

Spot on-peak prices for New York City dropped $165 to average $57.62 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 3 p.m. versus the same time yesterday, grid data compiled by Bloomberg showed. Boston slid $267.90 to $69.39.

The average premium for New York on-peak power versus Boston narrowed to $13.21 from $14.06 yesterday.

Power consumption in New York City may peak at 9,753 megawatts today, down 8.1 percent from yesterday’s high of 10,611 megawatts, which was the most since July 19, New York Independent System Operator Inc. data show.

PJM expects peak demand to slip 12 percent to 126,057 megawatts from 142,507 megawatts yesterday, according to its website. The operator of the 13-state grid issued alerts yesterday and the day before for consumers in the mid-Atlantic states and parts of Ohio to cut demand to help balance the grid.

Spot power for PJM’s benchmark Western hub, which includes deliveries to Washington, fell $217.65 to $60.55 a megawatt-hour during the hour ended at 3 p.m.