Energy Markets Report

Energy Markets Report

A weekly statistical report on electricity, gas and oil markets, nuclear availability and future build.


April 14-18, 2014

 

Summary of Market Developments

  • Electricity peak prices remained flat last week, for a second week, ranging from $38/MWh to $53/MWh at the major hubs. Prices in the east rose, while those in the west fell. PJM-West saw an increase of $5 to average $47/MWh, while prices in Southern California at the SP-15 hub fell $6 to average $52/MWh. “Forward capacity prices throughout the Midcontinent Independent System Operator Inc. region took a considerable step higher in the latest annual auction with most zones seeing a significant increase in prices due to intrazonal dispatch constraints between MISO South and the rest of the region: MISO Central and MISO North. Following a systemwide clearing price of $1.05 per MW-day in last year's auction, which indicated an oversupply situation, the latest results released April 14 show Local Resource Zone, or LRZ, 1 cleared at $3.29 per MW-day while the rest of the zones in MISO cleared in excess of $16.00 per MW-day for the 2014-2015 planning year. … A total of 136,912 MW of planning resources were cleared to meet the MISO's resource adequacy requirements for the annual commitment period from June 2014 to May 2015. This consists of 124,556 MW of generation resources; 3,743 MW of behind-the-meter generation, or distributed generation; 5,457 MW of demand response; and 3,156 MW of external resources.” (SNL Energy’s Power Daily – April 16, 2014)
  • Uranium spot prices fell 25-50 cents per pound last week, to average $32.50/lb U3O8, according to both Ux Consulting and TradeTech.
  • Natural gas spot prices at the Henry Hub rose 5 cents last week, to average $4.62/MMBtu. The rig count rose six to 316 rigs. “While Northeast and Mid-Atlantic prices fell heading into the weekend [of April 12-13], the Henry Hub price (and other spot prices in the Gulf of Mexico region) rose slightly. ... Historically, prices in the Northeast have traded at a premium to the Henry Hub, especially in times of high demand in the winter. However, in summer and fall of 2013, northeastern prices regularly began dropping below the national benchmark, possibly the result of increasing Marcellus supplies in the region. Expectations for unseasonably cold weather on Tuesday [April 15] and Wednesday [April 16] boosted northeastern and Mid-Atlantic prices back above the Henry Hub.” (EIA’s Natural Gas Weekly Update – April 17, 2014)
  • Average U.S. nuclear plant availability fell five percent last week, to 77 percent. Beaver Valley 2, Oconee 3, and Waterford 3 shut down for refueling and maintenance outages. Fermi 2 shut down to repair one of its two main transformers. Salem 1 shut down for four days to repair wiring related to its tranformer and generator. Point Beach 2 returned to service after completing a refueling and maintenance outage. Vogtle 1 returned to service after a two-day maintenance outage. (Platts and company reports)