Gas, Nuclear

New England sees dramatic jumps in spot power, natural gas prices

D.C. Cook nuclear plant

A weekend preview of winter, which included snow in some areas, set the stage for higher spot prices in some locations such as New England.

New England recorded a spot power price of $72.38 /MWh in data posted Nov. 3 by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). That was both the highest spot power price in the nation and about 96% higher than the region had recorded during the prior business day.

New England recorded the most expensive spot power price by far among the 10 regions monitored by EIA. Northern California and Southern California were the next most expensive spot power regions at more than $55/MWh, according to the data posted Nov. 3.

New England also recorded the nation’s highest spot natural gas price at $6.54/mmBtu, which was 51% more than the prior business day. Northern California had the second most expensive spot gas price at $4.27/mmBtu.

The Mid-Atlantic recorded the highest spark spread at $29.75/MWh. The spark spread is a common metric for estimating the profitability of natural gas-fired electric generators.

14 reactors currently out of service

Information from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) indicate that 14 of the nation’s 100 commercial reactor units are currently out of service, including a reactor “trip” that affected both units at the American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) D.C. Cook station in Michigan.

NRC data also indicates that the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) Cooper facility is starting to generate power again. It was listed at 20% on Nov. 3. NPPD took the Cooper unit offline Oct. 11 for a planned maintenance outage.

This article was republished with permission from