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Electricity Monthly Update

With Data for July 2017  |  Release Date: September 26, 2017  |  Next Release Date: October 24, 2017

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Regional Wholesale Markets: July 2017

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 electricity prices in July ranged from a low of $20/MWh in the Northwest (Mid-C) to a high of $71/MWh in the Southwest (Palo Verde). Prices across the West moderated in July compared to the extremes that occurred last month. In July, mild temperatures and abundant hydroelectric production pushed prices in the Northwest down to just $1/MWh while record heat in the Southwest and California pushed prices in those areas well above $100/MWh. Given the hot temperatures and high electricity demand during the month, wholesale electricity prices would likely have been considerably higher were it not for low- to moderate-natural gas prices. Wholesale natural gas prices in July ranged from a low of $1.63/MMBtu in the Mid-Atlantic (Tetco M-3) to a high of $3.85/MMBtu in New England (Algonquin). Natural gas prices at Henry Hub in Louisiana, traditionally the main natural gas pricing point in the U.S., traded in a tight band between $2.89-$3.12/MMBtu during the month.

Electricity system daily peak demand


Electric systems selected for daily peak demand

Electricity system daily peak demand levels were very high in most regions as much of the country experienced one of its hottest July’s on record. Every state except New Hampshire, Vermont, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona had warmer-than-normal average temperatures and nearly all Rocky Mountain and Pacific states recorded one of their top-10 hottest July’s. New 12-month daily peak demand highs were set in the Midwest (MISO) (118,272 MW on July 20), Southern Company (43,569 MW on July 12), Progress Florida (13,074 MW on July 5), and in California (CAISO) (45,364 MW on July 7). All regions except Bonneville Power Administration exceeded 83% of their all-time peak demand and Progress Florida and Texas (ERCOT) came within 2% of reaching their all-time peak demand records.

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