SOUTHEAST POWER TRACKER: Power Dailys, forward with natural gas

Strong points

Weather and loadouts likely had a mixed effect on pricing

Nuclear and coal fleets gain in production mix

Wholesale peak-hour electricity indices jumped sharply on the month and year in the southeastern United States in April, mainly due to higher natural gas prices, and prices at Peak electricity demand in June followed a similar trend, as the repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict continue to be felt. through the energy complex.

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According to S&P Global Commodity Insights, bilateral Platts peak valuations for one day ahead averaged $70/MWh across four geographically dispersed pricing points in the Southeast, and more than 80 $/MWh in limited electricity transmission in Florida. market.

The latter indices were up from the high $40/MWh in March and the indices ranging from $28.50/MWh to $30.78/MWh in April 2021.

Spot gas averaged $6.434/MMBtu in April at the Transco Zone 4 pipeline, according to S&P Global data, compared to $4.812/MMBtu in March and $2.56/MMBtu in April 2021. In Florida Gas Zone 3, spot gas averaged $6.465/MMBtu in April, compared to $4.861/MMBtu in March and $2.601/MMBtu in April 2021.

Electricity demand likely had little effect on prices in April, according to data collected by S&P Global from the US Energy Information Administration. For example, in the SERC region of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, formerly known as the Southeast Electric Reliability Council, loads averaged 66.8 GW in April, down from 69.3 GW in March. but up from 65.8 GW in April 2021. In NERC’s Florida Reliability Coordinating Council region, loads averaged 26.8 GW, compared to 25.7 GW in March and 24.9 GW in April 2021.

Weather trends in electricity demand were mixed, with population-weighted average daily temperatures generally more moderate in April than they were in March or April 2021, according to CustomWeather data. For example, average temperatures were 62.7 degrees Fahrenheit in Georgia in April, compared to 57.6 degrees in March and 62.3 degrees in April 2021.

Georgia’s combined heating and cooling degree days in April were down nearly 38% from March and more than 14.2% from April 2021.

In contrast, Florida’s population-weighted average combined HDD and CDD were up 18.9% from March and 9.2% from April 2021. Average temperatures were 73.9 degrees F in April, compared to 70.7 degrees F in March and 72.2 degrees F in April 2021.

Futures markets

Looking ahead, the National Weather Service’s April 21 forecast for May, June and July indicates probabilities of above normal temperatures ranging from 33% to 50% for the Southeast.

Such a forecast could give a boost to June futures, which were up sharply on the month and the year, likely due to the continued conflict between Russia and Ukraine, hence the conditions of the market. tight gas supplies in Europe and strong demand for feed gas from coastal LNG. liquefaction plants.

In the south of June, peak-period futures averaged nearly $78.40/MWh in April, up 42.3% from $55.05/MWh in March and nearly 156% from the $30.64/MWh that June 2021 futures had averaged in April 2021, according to pricing data from S&P Global.

Peak Florida futures in June averaged over $75.20/MWh in April, up 32.5% from March’s $56.75/MWh and 130.6 % from the $32.60/MWh that June 2021 futures had averaged in April 2021.

Transco Zone 4 June gas averaged $6.759/MMBtu in April, up 34.4% from March’s $5.028/MMBtu and 150.3% from $2.70 /MMBtu that June 2021 gas had on average in April 2021.

Florida Gas Zone 3 June futures averaged $6.85/MMBtu in April, up 32.9% from March’s $5.155/MMBtu and up nearly 143 .7% from the $2.811/MMBtu that June 2021 gas had on average in April 2021.

Mix generation

High gas prices in April and relatively weak demand likely helped nuclear and coal-fired generation regain some market share, according to EIA data collected by S&P Global.

In fact, nuclear power has taken over the lead in gas-fired generation in the NERC SERC region. Nuclear power’s share was 33.5% in April, up from 31.4% in March, but down from 34.5% in April 2021.

SERC coal fleet share increased to 22% in April from 21.4% in March and 21.3% in April 2021.

In contrast, the SERC gas fleet share fell to 32.8% in April from 33.3% in March and 33.5% in April 2021.

Gas-fired generation, which normally dominates NERC’s FRCC region, also lost share, falling to less than 69% in April, from 73.4% in March and 6.8% in April 2021.

The FRCC’s nuclear fleet held a 12.3% share in April, down from 12.8% in March but up from 11.6% in April 2021.

The FRCC’s coal fleet supplied 10.2% of the region’s electricity in April, stable from April 2021, but up from 6.6% in March.

The share of solar power in the Sunshine State also increased in April, reaching 6.2% in April, compared to 5.3% in March and 5.2% in April 2021.