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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for September 2022 Release Date: November 23, 2022 Next Release Date: December 22, 2022

Regional Wholesale Markets: September 2022

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, 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

Wholesale daily electricity prices far exceeded previous 12-month highs across the western United States in September during one of the hottest weather events on record. In the Northwest, prices reached $1,040/MWh at Mid-C. In the Southwest, prices hit $1,000/MWh at Palo Verde. And in CAISO, prices hit $388/MWh in Southern California and $376/MWh in Northern California. Though prices were more subdued in the rest of the country, they were still very high relative to historical levels. Prices reached $148/MWh in the Mid-Atlantic (PJM), $139/MWh in Texas (ERCOT), $120/MWh in New York City (NYISO), $116/MWh in the Midwest (MISO), and $109/MWh in Louisiana (into Entergy). Wholesale natural gas prices were also at elevated levels during the month. Prices exceeded $14/MMBtu in Southern California at SoCal Border and nearly hit $11/MMBtu in Northern California (PG&E Citygate), both new 12-month highs. Prices exceeded $9/MMBtu in both the Northwest (Sumas) and in Louisiana (Henry Hub) and exceeded $8/MMBtu at every other location at some point during the month.

Electricity system daily peak demand

Electricity demand varied widely across electricity systems due to several unique challenges. In California, one of the hottest weather events on record led to all-time record demand in CAISO. CAISO demand hit at least 51.1 GW on September 6, shattering its old record of 50.3 GW that was set on July 24, 2006. Across the country in Florida, the arrival of Hurricane Ian led to a short-term dip in electricity generation and demand in the region late in the month. Demand on the Progress Florida system reached only 4.6 GW on September 29, setting a new 12-month low by a wide margin before jumping back up to 6.5 GW on September 30 as recovery efforts took place.