Entries in wholesale prices (38)


Significant price variation on May 18 highlights operational challenges of operating the grid during spring and fall

Real-time prices ranged from a high of $758.88 MWh in the northeastern Massachusetts and Boston pricing zone to a low of -$71.07 MWh price for power from New Brunswick

Thursday, May 18, 2017, was a hot one. If you have an interest in energy, you may have checked the New England locational marginal pricing (LMP) map that day, expecting to see prices rise across the region, responding to the hotter than normal weather. Instead, you saw an unusual, rainbow-like effect on the map, indicating a wide variation in real-time wholesale electricity prices. The real-time price spread was caused by challenging power grid circumstances that can occur mainly during spring and fall (but also any time of year, depending on resource availability): when unseasonable weather drives a spike in demand while major energy infrastructure is offline for maintenance.

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ISO-NE’s wholesale electricity and capacity markets were competitive in 2016

The 2016 Annual Markets Report, issued by the Internal Market Monitor at ISO New England, concluded that New England’s wholesale power markets were competitive in 2016. The report found that the average price for wholesale electricity was the lowest since 2003, driven by very low natural gas prices and unusually mild weather in the first quarter of 2016. The average wholesale price for electric energy was $28.94 per megawatt-hour, and the total value of the region’s energy market was $4.1 billion. View the report.


Wholesale electricity prices and demand in New England, April 2017

Rising natural gas prices caused wholesale electricity prices to increase during April

Natural gas prices in April were nearly 10% higher than during the previous April in New England, pushing up the average wholesale power price to $31.51 per megawatt-hour (MWh)*, a 12.6% increase compared to the April 2016 average price of $28.00/MWh. For a month-to-month comparison, the April power price was 9.5% lower than the March average price of $34.81.

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Winter 2017 markets report reviews wholesale market outcomes during December 2016 and January and February 2017

The Winter 2017 Quarterly Markets Report prepared by the Internal Market Monitor (IMM) of ISO New England reviews wholesale energy market outcomes for the three-month period from December 1, 2016, through February 28, 2017.

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Winter 2016/2017 recap: Power system performs well during generally mild weather

New England’s power system performed well during winter 2016/2017, though colder temperatures in December led to higher natural gas and wholesale electric prices compared to the prices seen during the record-setting warm weather of winter 2015/2016.

While January and February were milder than normal, temperatures in December 2016 averaged 32.4°F, more than 10°F colder than the previous December. Over the course of the winter New Englanders used 30,933 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, slightly less than the 31,328 GWh used during the previous winter (which, as a leap year, included one extra day in February), but significantly less than the 33,709 GWh used during the much colder 2014/2015 winter, according to ISO New England data.

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

Cold weather drove up natural gas prices in March, resulting in electricity prices that were higher than March 2016’s record-low price

Unusually cold weather in March drove up natural gas prices in New England to more than twice the average price in March 2016, driving up the average wholesale power price. The March 2017 average price of natural gas rose nearly 140% year-over-year. The average wholesale power price in New England doubled to $34.81 per megawatt-hour (MWh)* compared to the March 2016 average price, which at $17.20/MWh stands as the lowest monthly average power price in New England since March 2003. The current wholesale electricity markets were launched in March 2003.

The March power price was 24.1% higher than the February average price of $28.05. The cold weather in March also drove up electricity usage in New England, by nearly 6% year-over-year and 10.5% over usage during February.

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