Power generation within ISO-NE drops 2.8% in January from a year ago
Houston (Platts)--8Feb2013/118 pm EST/1818 GMT
Total power generation in ISO New England's footprint fell 2.8% in
January compared with the same month a year earlier, data released by the
grid operator shows.
January saw 9.924 million MWh of electricity generated, compared with
10.210 million MWh in January 2012 and 9.397 million MWh in December,
according to the data posted online Thursday.
Peak load for January was 20,775 MW, up 4.3% from 19,926 MW a year
earlier. Peak load in December was 19,119 MW.
The ISO has forecast a 2012-2013 winter peak load of 22,355 MW, with an
average temperature of about 7 degrees, and forecast an extreme winter peak
of 23,095 MW, with an average temperature of about 2 degrees. The all-time
winter peak is 22,818 MW set on January 15, 2004. Last winter's demand peaked
at 21,354 MW on January 4, 2012. The ISO has about 33,000 MW of capacity.
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Nuclear generation accounted for the biggest share of the January fuel
mix at 33.2%, up from 31.3% a year ago, but down from 36.7% in December.
Natural gas' share of the mix fell to 29.9%, from 38.2% a year ago and
31.1% in December. Soaring natural gas prices led to the fuel's loss of share.
In January, Algonquin city-gates natural gas averaged $11.15/MMBtu,
compared with $4.68/MMBtu in January 2012, according to Platts data. Colder
weather was the driving force behind the increase.
Wholesale power prices also felt the brunt of natural gas volatility in
January, as day-ahead on-peak prices for Mass Hub averaged $91.60/MWh
compared with $46.57/MWh in January 2012, according to Platts data.
Coal was the big beneficiary of natural gas' loss of supply-mix share,
as it jumped to 10.8% of the supply mix in January from 7.7% a year ago. In
December, it made up 7% of the mix.
Hydro facilities' share of the generation mix was 7.3%, down slightly
from 7.7% a year ago and 7.9% in December.
Renewables' combined share of the supply mix rose to 7.5% from 6.7% a
year earlier but was down from 8.2% in December. Wind accounted for 23.6% of
the share from renewable sources in January but made up less than 2% of the
overall generation mix.
Power plants that can fuel switch between oil and natural gas
represented 10.4% of the January mix.
Finally, net imports of electricity to New England rose 27.9% in January
to 1.985 million MWh, from 1.552 million MWh a year ago. Exports, on the
other hand, fell 31.1% to 283,000 MWh, from 411,000 MWh a year earlier.
--Allan Schilling, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Katharine Fraser, email@example.com