Congestion reverses power price trends in New York ISO
New York ISO Zone A West day-ahead wholesale power prices have bounced around this March as maintenance and generation outages have increased congestion in the region. This price volatility appears to have spilled onto the prompt-month forward power contract as the spread between West and other New York zones has widened.
NYISO Zone A day-ahead prices have ranged from $5.23/MWh to $54.62/MWh since the start of the year, with the highest prices seen in March, when the month-to-date average is about $27.50/MWh, compared to $21.25/MWh for January and February combined.
“Congested conditions in the west have been exacerbated by the retirement of the Dunkirk and Huntley units as well as scheduled maintenance outages,” NYISO Spokesman Ken Klapp said.
NRG had plans to convert the 530-MW Dunkirk plant to burn natural gas, but those plans were put on hold and the plant was mothballed January 1, although NRG has filed for new interconnections, NRG Spokesman David Gaier said.
NRG permanently retired the two-unit, 380-MW Huntley coal-fired plant March 1.
For the prompt-month package, Zone A on-peak prices have jumped to a range of $26.55/MWh to $38.10/MWh since Dec. 31, 2015, forcing the spread between Zones A and G to blow out.
Typically, Zone G is at a premium to Zone A. However, things have flipped this year with Zone A priced as much as $7.60 above with the gap the widest in March and showing an upward trend.
Further, in early March Zone A started climbing above ISO-NE’s Mass Hub April on-peak package, which typically is at a premium in the Northeast. Mass Hub April on-peak has ranged from $28.50/MWh to $45.50/MWh since December 31 and has been as much as $3.60 below Zone A in recent days.
Looking at 2015 prices, Zone A and G April on-peak packages had a spread range of $2.10 to $5.25 with Zone G being the premium package in NYISO.