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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for April 2016  |  Release Date: June 24, 2016  |  Next Release Date: July 25, 2016

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Regional Wholesale Markets: April 2016

The United States has many regional wholesale electricity markets. Below we look at monthly and annual ranges of on-peak, daily wholesale prices at selected pricing locations and daily peak demand for selected electricity systems in the Nation. The range of daily prices and demand data is shown for the report month and for the year ending with the report month.

Prices and demand are shown for six Regional Transmission Operator (RTO) markets: ISO New England (ISO-NE), New York ISO (NYISO), PJM Interconnection (PJM), Midwest ISO (MISO), Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), and two locations in the California ISO (CAISO). Also shown are wholesale prices at trading hubs in Louisiana (into Entergy), Southwest (Palo Verde) and Northwest (Mid-Columbia). In addition to the RTO systems, peak demand is also shown for the Southern Company, Progress Florida, Tucson Electric, and the Bonneville Power Authority (BPA). Refer to the map tabs for the locations of the electricity and natural gas pricing hubs and the electric systems for which peak demand ranges are shown.

In the second tab immediately below, we show monthly and annual ranges of on-peak, daily wholesale natural gas prices at selected pricing locations in the United States. The range of daily natural gas prices is shown for the same month and year as the electricity price range chart. Wholesale electricity prices are closely tied to wholesale natural gas prices in all but the center of the country. Therefore, one can often explain current wholesale electricity prices by looking at what is happening with natural gas prices.

Wholesale prices

Selected wholesale electricity pricing locations

Wholesale electricity and natural gas prices varied widely across the country in April. Prices peaked at much higher levels in New England than at any other location, as natural gas prices of $5.75/MMBtu led to electricity prices just over $50/MWh. By comparison, the highest daily natural gas price anywhere else in the country was only $2.13/MMBtu and the highest electricity price anywhere else was $43/MWh. The lowest wholesale electricity and natural gas prices in the country were both found in the Northwest. Natural gas prices bottomed out at $1.06/MMBtu at Sumas and electricity prices ranged from only $4-$16/MWh at Mid-C, influenced by both the low natural gas prices and robust hydro generation during the month.

Electricity system daily peak demand

Electric systems selected for daily peak demand

Electricity system daily peak demand in April remained near the low end of the 12-month range at all locations across the country. Annual lows were set in New England (ISONE), New York State (NYISO), Southern Company, and Texas (ERCOT) and nearly set in the Mid-Atlantic (PJM), the Midwest (MISO), and Progress Florida. Daily peak maximums remained largely between 60-70% of all-time peak levels, with Progress Florida and Texas (ERCOT) the only regions exceeding 70% of all-time peaks, though both regions were far short of 12-month peak levels.

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