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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for June 2014  |  Release Date: Aug. 25, 2014  |  Next Release Date: Sep. 25, 2014
Re-release date: September 03, 2014   |   Revision

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Regional Wholesale Markets: June 2014

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

June typically marks the beginning of the peak summer demand period in US electricity markets. As temperatures and air conditioning use climbs, electricity demand-and prices-can rise as well. This June was largely absent any extreme heat events and with natural gas prices remaining below $5/MMBtu in all areas except Northern California (PG&E Citygate) and New England (Algonquin), wholesale electricity prices remained on the lower-end of the yearly range.

The highest daily wholesale electricity prices this month occurred in the Mid-Atlantic (PJM), with daily peak prices reaching $71/MWh on June 17 and $88/MWh on June 18. Unsurprisingly, these two days also had the highest peak electricity demand levels of the month. The highest daily peak prices for the month in New York City (NYISO) and New England (ISONE) also occurred on June 18 as an early summer heat-wave pushed daily high temperatures seven to twelve degrees Fahrenheit above normals for that day in Boston, New York City and Washington, DC, with temperatures nearing 100 degrees in Washington.

Daily wholesale natural gas prices traded in a tight band towards the low end of the yearly range for the month of June. In New England (Algonquin), New York City (Transco Z6 NY) and Mid-Atlantic (Tetco M-3), prices in late June set new twelve month lows, all well below $3/MMBtu, as low local natural gas demand, steadily increasing Marcellus area production and insufficient outward pipeline capacity depressed local natural gas prices in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. All other price locations traded between $4.05/MMBtu-$5.24/MMBtu during the month.

Electricity system daily peak demand

Electric systems selected for daily peak demand

Daily peak electricity system demand levels were significantly higher in June than in May in all areas except California (CAISO), where the peak demand day was actually 3% lower than May's high and the Bonneville Power Administration, up just 2.5% from May. Peak daily demand was up 7% in Progress Florida and between 11%-32% in the other seven regions from May to June.

Tucson Electric nearly set a new all-time peak demand record on June 30, the third day of 100+ degree Fahrenheit temperatures. Peak demand reached 3,111 MW on that day, 99.6% of Tucson's all-time peak. On June 30, the last day of the month, New England (ISONE), New York State (NYISO), Southern Company, Texas (ERCOT), Tucson Electric, California (CAISO) and Bonneville Power Administration all logged their highest demand day for the month, hinting that higher loads were ahead for July.

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