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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for July 2019  |  Release Date: September 24, 2019  |  Next Release Date: October 24, 2019

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Regional Wholesale Markets: July 2019

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 natural gas prices were low across the country during July 2019. Texas (Houston Ship Channel) and Louisiana (Henry Hub) posted new 12-month lows at $2.08/MMBtu and $2.22/MMBtu, respectively. Prices at the Henry Hub traded between $2.08/MMBtu and $2.54/MMBtu during the month. The highest natural gas prices in the country were found in California, with prices reaching $3.36/MMBtu in Southern California (SoCal Border) and $2.90/MMBtu in Northern California (PG&E Citygate). Wholesale electricity prices were elevated at many locations due to high electricity demand. Prices reached $90/MWh in Texas (ERCOT), $72/MWh in the Southwest (Palo Verde), and $56/MWh in Southern California (CAISO). Peak daily prices were higher at all locations except the Northwest (Mid-C) in July 2019 compared to June 2019.

Electricity system daily peak demand

Electric systems selected for daily peak demand

Electricity system peak demand levels were very high across all systems in July 2019, not a surprise given the high temperatures typically experienced during this month. New 12-month high daily peak demand levels were set in the Mid-Atlantic (PJM) and the Midwest (MISO) on July 19 and in Southern Company on July 16. All other systems, except Bonneville Power Administration, were close to 12-month highs at some point during the month. On July 3 in Texas, ERCOT daily peak demand of 70,715 MW nearly hit ERCOT’s all-time daily peak demand record of 71,299 MW.

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