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Record-breaking day-ahead power prices shoot to £1,750/MWh

Power prices have broken a number of records this week as eyes turn to the winter period. Image: Getty

Power prices have broken a number of records this week as eyes turn to the winter period. Image: Getty

GB's period of high power prices shows no signs of abating with the day-ahead auction for Tuesday (14 September) clearing at new records across the board.

This is according to energy market analyst EnAppSys, which highlighted how prices at the peak were £1,675.30/MWh for EPEX and £1,750/MWh for Nordpool.

Both beat the previous records of £1,500/MWh and £1,499.62/MWh set on 14 January 2021 and 13 January 2021 for EPEX and Nordpool respectively.

Volume weighted baseload prices also set new records at £461.17/MWh for EPEX and £379.82/MWh for Nordpool. The previous records were both set just last week, being £281.11/MWh for EPEX and £285.99/MWh for Nordpool.

These high prices are the result of some generators sitting out of the wholesale market to benefit from the higher prices in the Balancing Mechanism, Phil Hewitt, director at EnAppSys, said.

It follows prices in the Balancing Mechanism hitting a record high of £4,037.80/MWh on 9 September, with the baseload imbalance price also breaking records at £960/MWh, three times the last record of £304/MWh set on 8 January 2021.

Interconnector capacity prices are also peaking at very high levels, with the day-ahead prices peaking at €1,664/MW/h (£1,421) on IFA for 17:00-18:00.

These high prices are due to the trading arrangements as a result of Brexit, according to Hewitt. Previously, implicit market coupling would have cleared the prices at a much lower level.

“We are surprised by the extent of these high prices because the market appears to be no more volatile than last week. It does feel that prices are overshooting," he said.

“Looking ahead, Wednesday and Thursday look even more volatile compared to tomorrow, so we suspect that this is not the end of the high prices for this week.”

It follows the day-ahead auctions clearing at £731/MWh for 6 September's evening peak, with EnAppSys largely attributing this to a shortage of generation, with nuclear not yet back online for the winter season and some CCGTs still offline.

Low wind generation also played a factor in the prices seen on 6 September, according to consultancy LCP, alongside reduced availability on the IFA1 interconnector.

The prices seen over the last week have raised concerns as GB moves towards the winter period, and comes after National Grid ESO itself warned of tight margins due to supply uncertainty in an early view of its winter outlook, released in July.

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