2009 State of the Market Report
Figure 25: Real-Time Hub Prices and Load 2009: Peak Hours
Cinergy Hub Minnesota Hub WUMS Area Michigan Hub
Jun-09 Jul-09 Aug-09 Sep-09 Oct-09 Nov-09 Dec-09
The figure shows a general correlation between peak load and peak energy price with some notable price separations due to congestion events. Overall, fuel prices and load were substantially lower in 2009 than in 2008, particularly during the summer months. These factors led to lower energy prices throughout the footprint. The load-weighted, real-time energy price during peak hours in 2009 was $35.49 per MWh, down 47 percent from 2008. This reduction was primarily due to a reduction in fuel prices of 30 to 55 percent, depending on the fuel.
Average load and peak load also decreased in 2009, which reduced the frequency of high price events. For example, average daily peak prices rarely exceeded $70 per MWh and never did so at the Cinergy Hub. Congestion resulted in transitory price spikes, primarily in WUMS (e.g. June 23) and Minnesota (e.g. December 15). As in the day-ahead market, west-to-east congestion prevailed throughout the year and occurred periodically into Michigan. This trend was less apparent during peak hours than off-peak hours, when high levels of wind generation and exports from Commonwealth Edison led to large west-to-east flows. Much of the congestion into Michigan in 2009 was associated with a series of planned transmission outages related to transmission upgrades. Figure 26 shows the off-peak hours.