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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for November 2015  |  Release Date: Jan. 26, 2015  |  Next Release Date: Feb. 26, 2016

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Regional Wholesale Markets: November 2015

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

Daily on-peak wholesale electricity prices fell on the lower end of the yearly range in November as mild weather covered much of the country and natural gas prices remained extremely low. Prices were highest in New England (ISONE) at $53/MWh, followed by $40/MWh in the Mid-Atlantic (PJM), and $34/MWh in New York City (NYISO). As is often the case, the lowest price was found in the Northwest (Mid-C) where the daily peak price reached only $16.50/MWh in mid-November. Wholesale natural gas prices remained very low during the month. Outside of New England (Algonquin), which peaked at $4.80/MMBtu on November 2, the highest natural gas prices at any of the other nine trading hubs was only $2.88/MMBtu.

Electricity system daily peak demand

Electric systems selected for daily peak demand

Electricity system daily peak demand remained well on the low end of the annual range for every region besides the Northwest (Bonneville Power Administration, or BPA), as above-average temperatures for most of the country caused November to resemble more of a mild shoulder month than the beginning of winter. California (CAISO) actually set a new 12-month low daily peak demand in November, with every other region coming close to new 12-month lows during the month. BPA set a new 12-month daily peak demand of 9,569 MW on November 30, though this was well short of BPA's all-time maximum peak demand of nearly 11,561 MW. Cold weather descended upon the Northwest during the last week in November, pushing temperatures well below normal and increasing electricity demand.

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