August’s average price of electricity rose on higher natural gas prices and higher demand
August’s average monthly power price of $40.19 per megawatt-hour (MWh)* was up 13.7% from the August 2015 average price of $35.35/MWh and 37% higher than the July 2016 average price of $29.33/MWh. The month included some very hot and humid weather that drove up air conditioning use, which drove up demand for power by 3% over the month as a whole. The highest level for demand so far this year occurred on August 12, during a heat wave, when demand peaked at 25,521 MW. The day before, on August 11, shortage conditions developed – meaning the region was short of the required level of reserves – on the regional power system when several generators tripped offline, causing real-time prices to spike and requiring implementation of special operating procedures, including dispatch of demand-response resources in all of New England except Maine. The ISO New England control room maintained reliable power system operations throughout the day.