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U.S. power and natgas prices spike in Texas and California heatwaves

CommoditiesJun 15, 2021 09:00PM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Power lines are shown as California consumers prepare for more possible outages following weekend outages to reduce system strain during a brutal heat wave amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Carlsbad, California, U.S., Augu

(Reuters) - Power and natural gas prices in Texas and California spiked this week to their highest levels in months as homes and businesses cranked up air conditioners to escape brutal heatwaves.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates most of the state's power system, urged consumers on Monday to conserve energy during peak hours through Friday. The California ISO, which operates most of that state's grid, told consumers to prepare to conserve energy if needed.

Both grids have imposed rotating outages over the last year to avoid widespread collapses of their power systems - California in August 2020 and Texas in February 2021.

Rotating outages are supposed to leave a limited number of customers without service for a short time before switching to another group of customers. In Texas, ERCOT drew criticism after millions of homes and businesses were left in the dark - many for days.

For this week, ERCOT forecast power demand would peak at 70,816 megawatts (MW) on Tuesday, up from 69,943 MW on Monday, which was a record high for June. The grid's all-time high was 74,820 MW in August 2019. One MW typically powers about 200 homes on a hot summer day.

To meet that peak and have enough reserves in case something goes wrong, ERCOT has said it expects to have about 86,862 MW of supply available this summer. On Monday, however, the grid said an unusually large 11,000 MW of generation was out of service.

About 1,200 MW of power was regained overnight as some repairs were completed, it said on Tuesday.

In California, the ISO forecast power demand would reach 39,856 MW on Tuesday and 41,219 MW on Wednesday. That compares with the grid's all-time peak of 50,270 MW in July 2006.

To meet that peak and have enough reserves, the California ISO said it expects to have about 50,734 MW of supply available this summer.

Power and Gas Prices

State Price for Monday Price for Tuesday Price for Wednesday 2020 Average

Power MWh MWh MWh MWh

Ercot North Texas $84 $407 $25.52

Palo Verde Arizona $158 $120 $364 $40.71

SP-15 California $155 $120 $190 $40.18

Gas mmBtu mmBtu mmBtu

Waha Texas $3.15 $3.02 $1.18

SoCal City Gate California $4.45 $8.32 $3.02

PG&E (NYSE:PCG) California $4.09 $4.51 $3.01

Note - Power in Megawatt Hours (MWh) and gas in million British thermal units (mmBtu)

Note - The power and gas prices this week were the highest since the February freeze in Texas boosted

prices across the country.

U.S. power and natgas prices spike in Texas and California heatwaves
 

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Comments (10)
Mike Jordan
Mike Jordan Jun 16, 2021 2:51PM ET
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call your local congressman and senators office and complain about price gouging , no shortage of natural gas anywhere in the world , why are producers reducing rigs if there is a shortage?
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 15, 2021 11:05PM ET
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It is good for gov to charge u ectra ‘global warming’ tax. They r all in the same bed.
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jun 15, 2021 11:04PM ET
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Blah blah excuse to jack up prices. i am living in Ca, it is not that hot. I dont have my ac on. it is around 90.
Ur Daddy
Ur Daddy Jun 15, 2021 8:40PM ET
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this is a free country. you are a communist if you don't price gouge.
Mike Jordan
Mike Jordan Jun 15, 2021 6:56PM ET
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call your local senators and congressman office and complain about the price gouging when they are reducing rigs to cause price gouging!! this is America gas natural gas should be 1.80 , we flare off excess but you claim you want to go green Joe Biden
Jm Vm
Jm Vm Jun 15, 2021 2:31PM ET
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Where's Ted? Mexico?
Michael Dell
Michael Dell Jun 15, 2021 2:22PM ET
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Texas is a ghetto
Mike Jordan
Mike Jordan Jun 15, 2021 12:34PM ET
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call congress
Mike Jordan
Mike Jordan Jun 15, 2021 12:13PM ET
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why are producers reducing rigs ?? price gouging
Mike Jordan
Mike Jordan Jun 15, 2021 12:09PM ET
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price gouging
 
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