Arctic Vortex causes major power price spikes



The cold weather sweeping across the U.S. has caused unprecedented price spikes, with congestions prices fluctuating by $800 on January 6 in the MISO region. Genscape’s Transmission RT service, which monitors outages, reversals, and return-to-service on transmission lines across the U.S. in real-time, gave traders valuable and actionable insight into the reversal of congestion impacting MISO trading hubs.

Reverse ORCA 1 interface congestion posted with weak flows along the Independence-Dell line during the early morning hours of January 6, reflecting a pull into MISO South due to the cold temperatures which dominated the footprint. As a result, Arkansas Hub MCCs rose to highs of over $600/MWh from HE 2 through HE 11 while INDY Hub MCCs collapsed to $-200/MWh. 

When Independence began to ramp up, flows along the line also climbed reflecting MISO South’s decreasing reliance on flows from the rest of the footprint.  This caused congestion to swing to ORCA Interface 1, starting in HE 16, which brought Arkansas Hub MCCs down as low as $ -130/MWh and INDY Hub MCCs up as high as $154/MW through January 7.

The Transmission RT service provides up-to-the-minute status and flow direction of each of the 1,400 monitored transmission lines in its network. Complimentary trials are available now.