Emissions

Power prices dropping for all regions of the U.S. as Fall settles in

Sept. 26, 2002 — In the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) weekly assessment of selected wholesale electricity prices, all regions of the country are experiencing lower electricity prices as the Fall season settles in.

Western U.S. electricity prices have been decreasing at most of the trading centers for the past two trading days. In California, electricity and natural gas prices dropped as temperatures returned to normal, down from the highs experienced earlier in the week.

According to Bloomberg Power Lines Report, the Bloomberg average spot price of five natural gas delivery locations in California dropped 28 cents to $3.33 per million British thermal unit. Natural gas is used to fuel about 53 percent of California’s generating assets.

At the NP-15, California’s northern transmission grid, electricity prices dropped over 9 percent to $36.08 per megawatthour on September 25. The SP-15, California’s southern transmission grid, also saw prices decrease nearly 9 percent to $36.67 per megawatthour. In the desert southwest prices have been falling despite hot weather, as available generation has been able to cover demand. At the Four Corners trading center, prices have decreased 6 percent, over the past two trading days, to $33.50 per megawatthour on September 25.

Electricity prices in the Mid-continent region have been decreasing for four consecutive trading days as cooler weather has remained in the region lowering demand. Cinergy’s price, over the last four trading days, has decreased 41 percent to $21.05 per megawatthour on September 25.

In the Southeast U.S., prices have also fallen for four consecutive trading days as cooler weather has set into the area, lowering the demand for electricity. Prices at the SERC have dropped 23 percent, over this four-day trading period, from $36.76 per megawatthour on September 19 to $28.14 per megawatthour on September 25.

Prices in the Northeast have been decreasing for the past several trading days as Tropical Storm Isidore was forecast to bring rain and cool weather to the region. Prices at NEPOOL have dropped from a high of $54.38 per megawatthour on September 23 to $42.63 per megawatthour on September 25.

At the PJM West, prices have been decreasing for three straight trading days to $26.86 per megawatthour on September 25. New York Zone J, New York City, prices have also dropped for three straight trading days to $51.50 per megawatthour.

Over the past seven days, the average price at all trading centers has ranged between $33.48 and $37.89 per megawatthour.

Source: EIA. To learn more, visit EIA’s web site at http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/security/esar/esar.html.