VIDEO: Price spikes accompany cooler temperatures in recent days

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A weekend preview of winter, which included snow in some areas, set the stage for higher spot prices in some locations such as New England.

New England recorded a spot power price of $72.38/MWh in data posted Nov. 3 by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). That was both the highest spot power price in the nation and about 96 percent higher than the region had recorded during the prior business day, according to GenerationHub.

New England recorded the most expensive spot power price by far among the 10 regions monitored by EIA. Northern California and Southern California were the next most expensive spot power regions at more than $55/MWh, according to the data posted Nov. 3.

New England also recorded the nation’s highest spot natural gas price at $6.54/mmBtu, which was 51 percent more than the prior business day. Northern California had the second most expensive spot gas price at $4.27/mmBtu.

The Mid-Atlantic recorded the highest spark spread at $29.75/MWh. The spark spread is a common metric for estimating the profitability of natural gas-fired electric generators.

Information from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) indicate that 14 of the nation’s 100 commercial reactor units are currently out of service, including a reactor trip that affected both units at the American Electric Power (AEP) D.C. Cook station in Michigan.

NRC data also indicates that the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) Cooper facility is starting to generate power again. It was listed at 20 percent on Nov. 3. NPPD took the Cooper unit offline Oct. 11 for a planned maintenance outage.

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Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 22 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants.

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