Publication Date July 26, 2016 | Bloomberg

A Thunderstorm Just Drove New York Power Prices Above $1,000

United States
Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

The first clouds of a thunderstorm had yet to darken the skies above New York and it was already wreaking havoc on the city’s wholesale power prices Monday.

Spot electricity catapulted to $1,042.37 a megawatt-hour at 3:25 p.m., from less than $50 earlier in the day. The agency that oversees New York’s power system issued an alert in advance of the storm that cut the amount of electricity allowed to be carried across transmission lines feeding the city, energy data provider Genscape Inc. said.

Usually, starting up local generation can quickly ease price spikes. New York, however, is on day five of a heat wave that’s expected to last through Thursday, and backup oil-fired plants in the city are already online to help power air conditioners. So curtailing supplies is adding sparks to a power market that had, until Monday, been humming along quietly as New Yorkers boiled with the rising temperatures.