Nuclear

Wholesale power prices decrease nationwide


Jan. 17, 2003 — Over the past seven days, average prices at all trading centers ranged between $42.86 and $50.67 per megawatthour with an overall weekly average of $46.52 per megawatthour, the Energy Information Administration reported Thursday.

In the Western United States, spot electricity prices decreased for the past three trading days as warmer weather led to a decline in customer demand. At Mid-Columbia, a benchmark for the Northwest, prices fell to a seven-day low of $36.57 per megawatthour on January 15 from a seven-day high of $43 on January 10.

At California’s NP-15 and SP-15, prices decreased to seven-day lows of $41.65 and $42.40 per megawatthour on January 15 from seven-day highs of $47.16 and $47.92 per megawatthour on January 10, respectively. The region’s other trading centers including California-Oregon Border, Palo Verde, Mead/Marketplace and 4 Corners experienced similar price decreases. Western electricity markets will be closed on Monday for observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

In the Midwest, electricity prices increased on January 14 and then decreased slightly on January 15 as the cold temperatures prolonged high customer demand. In addition, higher natural gas prices also raised electricity prices. At the Cinergy Trading Center, prices rose to $45.94 per megawatthour on January 14 from $43.60 per megawatthour on January 13 and then dropped a little to $45.49 per megawatthour on January 15.

Similarly in the Southeast, prices increased on January 14 because the cold weather increased customer demand. The region’s prices decreased on January 15 because generating supplies were adequate to meet the high customer demand. Prices within the SERC trading area went from $43.41 per megawatthour on January 13 to $43.62 on January 14 and then down to $43.31per megawatthour on January 15.

In the Northeast, prices were generally lower the last three trading days with exception of New England. At Nepool, cold temperatures escalated customer demand and fuel costs for natural gas power plants. Prices increased to a seven-day high of $74.38 per megawatthour on January 14 from $68 on January 13 and then decreased to $65.06 per megawatthour on January 15.

More nuclear generation came on-line to help curb electricity prices on January 15. Entergy’s Indian Point Unit 3 ran at full capacity along with many other plants in order to increase supplies.

After reaching a seven-day high of $92 per megawatthour on January 10, New York City’s prices dropped to $86.25 per megawatthour on January 15. At PJM West, prices decreased to $51.95 per megawatthour on January 15 from a seven-day high of $58.63 on January 10.