Entries in monthly prices (21)

Thursday
Apr262018

Monthly wholesale electricity prices and demand in New England, March 2018

Natural gas and wholesale power prices fell in March

Milder weather during March tempered the demand for both natural gas and power and allowed the average monthly price for each to decline from the prices recorded during March 2017. The average monthly wholesale power price fell in both the day-ahead and real-time energy markets, down 1% to $35.38 per megawatt-hour (MWh)* in the day-ahead energy market and down nearly 6% to $32.87/MWh in the real-time market.

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Monday
Mar262018

Monthly wholesale electricity prices and demand in New England, February 2018

February natural gas and wholesale power prices subsided from January’s highs

Milder weather during February tempered the demand for both natural gas and power and allowed the average monthly price for each to shrink significantly from the highs recorded during January. The average monthly wholesale power price shrank more than 63% in both the day-ahead and real-time energy markets, to $39.58 per megawatt-hour (MWh)* and $36.91/MWh, respectively. While those prices marked significant declines from January’s prices, they were still up, by about 32%, from the average monthly prices recorded in February 2017.

February also marked a return to a more typical resource mix. During the extreme cold weather in early January, the spike in natural gas demand and resulting rise in prices caused coal- and oil-fired generators to be less costly to run than natural-gas-fired generators. As a result, coal- and oil-fired generators were dispatched more often in January, and generated about 15% of the energy produced by New England power plants. By contrast, in February, coal- and oil-fired power plants produced under 2% of the region’s generation. That’s closer to the usual fuel mix—in 2017, they generated just 2.3% of the energy produced in New England.

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Wednesday
Feb282018

Monthly wholesale electricity prices and demand in New England, January 2018

Energy market value in January totaled $1.3 billion, second only to January 2014

Extreme cold weather at the beginning of January caused the average price of natural gas to triple during the month, causing the price of wholesale power to nearly triple as well, compared to January 2017.

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Wednesday
Jan312018

Monthly wholesale electricity prices and demand in New England, December 2017

Energy market transactions in December totaled $856 million, with nearly half incurred in the last week

Extreme cold weather at the end of December caused the average price of natural gas to rise more than 40% for the month, pushing the price of wholesale power up nearly 50% higher than the wholesale power price in December 2016. A cold snap that began December 26 pushed up demand for both natural gas and electricity, raising prices and resulting in a total energy market value of $856 million for the month. The bulk of that energy market value came in the last week of the month, during the cold snap, when the energy market value was $395.6 million for just one week.

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Thursday
Dec212017

Monthly wholesale electricity prices and demand in New England, November 2017

The average wholesale electricity price rose in November on higher natural gas prices

A 32% increase in natural gas prices was the primary reason the monthly average price for wholesale electricity in rose by by 37% in November. The November real-time power price was $33.30 per megawatt-hour (MWh)* compared to the November 2016 price of $24.30/MWh.

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Wednesday
Nov292017

Monthly wholesale electricity prices and demand in New England, October 2017

The average wholesale electricity price rose in October, while October energy use was fifth-lowest monthly total since 2000

Higher natural gas prices were a factor in driving up the monthly average price for wholesale electricity in October by 40%, to $31.71 per megawatt-hour (MWh)*, over the October 2016 price of $22.72/MWh. Another factor contributing to higher average power prices was seasonal maintenance that took thousands of megawatts of generation out of service during the month, resulting in tight system conditions at times. Spring and fall are called the “shoulder” seasons, due to lighter consumer demand for power when weather is mild. Because demand is lower, transmission equipment and power plants are often taken out of service during the shoulder months for routine maintenance and repairs so the equipment is ready and available to handle higher demand during summer and winter.

While energy usage is typically lower during shoulder months like October, last month stood out. Total energy consumption during October 2017 was the fifth-lowest of any month since January 2000, and the lowest during any October since 2000. October 2017 was also the warmest on record since 1895 in New England, a likely contributor to lower demand. Further, an intense storm arrived at the end of the month, resulting in New England-wide outages affecting as many as 1.3 million customers, lasting several days in some areas.

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