U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis
Electricity Monthly Update
With Data for September 2013 | Release Date: Nov. 22, 2013 | Next Release Date: Dec. 20, 2013
Regional Wholesale Markets: September 2013
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.
Daily wholesale electricity prices for most of the hubs ranged between $30 and $60/MWh for most of September. On average this was equivalent to August. Three hubs, New England (ISONE), New York State (NYISO) and the Mid-Atlantic (PJM) had price spikes during a 2-day heat wave that occurred in those regions. High temperatures and high humidity caused demand to rise significantly during September 10 - 12. Boston recorded a high temperature of 97 degrees on September 11. Providence, RI and Hartford, CT both recorded temperatures in the low 90's that day. The resulting electricity demand caused the New England hub to have a price spike of $180.72/MWh on September 11. This was the highest daily wholesale electricity price throughout the country in September. The Mid-Atlantic and New York hubs had the next highest daily wholesale electricity prices of September, $103.37 and $97.32, respectively. These monthly high prices were the result of the increased demand due to the same 2-day heat wave. The Northwest (Mid-C) hub had the lowest wholesale electricity price in September, 23.50/MWh, recorded on the last day of the month.
Natural gas prices in September were higher than in August. They generally ranged between $3 and $4 per MMBtu at most hubs, again reflecting less demand due to the generally milder weather in most of the U.S. The New England Algonquin hub reported a price of $4.98/MMBtu, the highest wholesale natual gas price of the month. This was followed by PG&E Citygate and the So Cal Border hubs in California, which reached $4.14/MMBtu and $4.08/MMBtu, respectively.
Looking at the low end of the price scale, the Northwest (Sumas) hub had the lowest price of the month at $2.58/MMBtu. The next-lowest price was $3.24/MMBtu, recorded by the Southwest (EL Paso San Juan) hub.
Electricity System Daily Peak Demand
The monthly range of daily peak-hour demand as a percentage of all-time peak demand for September 2013, showed most electric systems near the middle of their all-time peak demand. Three electric systems rose toward the higher end of this range: New England (ISONE), New York State (NYISO) and Mid-Atlantic (PJM). This was due to a brief heat wave in the middle of the month which drove up demand in these highly populated areas in the eastern U.S.
Progress Florida, Texas (ERCOT), Tucson Electric and California (CAISO) also climbed to the upper middle range of their all-time peak demand levels due to warmer than normal temperatures for September in those regions of the country. The Bonneville Power Authority had daily peak-hour demand at the lower end of their range this month, due to milder weather.