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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for July 2016  |  Release Date: Sep. 27, 2016  |  Next Release Date: Oct. 25, 2016

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Regional Wholesale Markets: July 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 prices were at or near yearly highs in July at all hubs except Texas (ERCOT). This was the product of high electricity system demand and rising natural gas prices, both of which were also at or near yearly highs in most regions. Yearly high electricity prices were set in the Midwest (MISO) at $55/MWh, Louisiana (into Entergy) at $42/MWh, the Southwest (Palo Verde) at $72/MWh, Southern California (CAISO) at $61/MWh, Northern California (CAISO) at $58/MWh, and in the Northwest (Mid-C) at $75/MWh. Wholesale electricity prices in New York City (NYISO) and the Mid-Atlantic were within $1/MWh of yearly highs.

Wholesale natural gas prices have trended steadily upwards since March as very high natural gas demand from power generators and falling natural gas production have chipped away at the large natural gas storage overhang. A yearly high was set in Southern California (SoCal Border) at $3.42/MMBtu and was within pennies of yearly highs in Louisiana (Henry Hub), Texas (Houston Ship Channel), and Northern California (PG&E Citygate). The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic were the only regions where natural gas prices were not at or near record highs, as pipeline constraints in the winter cause much higher prices during the December-February time frame.

Electricity system daily peak demand


Electric systems selected for daily peak demand

Electricity system daily peak demand was very high across all regions except the Northwest (Bonneville Power Administration) in July. 12-month high daily peaks were set in New England (ISONE), New York State (NYISO), the Mid-Atlantic (PJM), and the Midwest (MISO). NYISO's daily peak of 31,187 MW on July 22 was its highest daily peak load since September 11, 2013. PJM's daily peak of 151,882 MW on July 25 was its highest daily peak load since July 19, 2013.

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