Close to a new record demand in Victoria today (Wed 15th), but no cigar


Despite the very ominous warnings that were seen this morning about a stellar demand peak (and load shedding) expected for this afternoon in Victoria, the actual Scheduled Demand did soar to be as high as 10,107MW at 15:35 (when measured on a dispatch target basis) but this was still 389MW lower than the peak achieved in summer 2008-09, just prior to Black Saturday.

As shown in this snapshot from NEM-Watch at 17:00 market time today, the demand in South Australia is climbing late in the day and has passed the 3,000MW mark, the Victorian peak was at 15:35, and the NEM-wide peak today was at 15:50 (reaching 32,913MW – making it the highest demand achieved so far this summer):

2014-01-15-at-17-00-NEM-Watch

In good news, we see that the LOR3 warning (i.e. forecast of the need for load shedding) was cancelled this afternoon around 15:00, after this preliminary post had been made earlier today.


Finally, we note that (as at 16:55 today) the forecast for tomorrow is that:

1)   The demand will reach as high as 10,364MW in Victoria in the 15:30 trading (i.e. half hour) period; and

2)  AEMO has issued Market Notice ID 44586 at 16:45, warning of a LOR2 condition tomorrow forecast for between 14:00 and 16:00 market time noting that there is currently forecast to be only 126MW of spare capacity available at the lowest point over that period – i.e. not enough to cope with demand should the largest single contingency occur (this might be the trip of a large generator, or of a large transmission connector).

Hence we look set to do it all again tomorrow…

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

6 Comments on "Close to a new record demand in Victoria today (Wed 15th), but no cigar"

  1. Thanks for the up to date coverage of the heatwave and its effects on the NEM, Paul! It’s going to be very interesting on Thursday…

    • It will be even more interesting this time next year when the QLD LNG plants start operating and there is no fuel available for baseload CCGT power stations and a further 1900MW of generation in the NEM will not be running

  2. While I loathe the heat, watching the NEM on these days is lots of fun. While South Oz is hot, you cannot underestimate how the wind generation has changed the SA market, compared to the similar temperatures 5-6 years ago.

  3. I wonder if the heat impacts on solar pv units on households?

  4. These are great posts.

    It is interesting that these high network demands are occurring despite over 2 GW of solar PV capacity across Australia, and that market penetration is particularly high in Adelaide. A South Australian assessment concluded that PV had a capacity factor of 40% at the time of peak annual demand. As solar panel technology improves, we should expect this to increase as panels are developed that are less affected by high temperatures. Panels that perform well under high temperature conditions should be a much more cost-effective solution to heatwave demand that additional poles, wires and generators.

    Another interesting feature is that MurrayLink (connecting South Australia to Mildura) has had minimal capacity to import electricity into SA, and has in some of your previous posts has been exporting from SA. Under normal conditions MurrayLink can import 200 MW into SA. However there appear to be constraints on the distribution system to the east of Mildura. There is one 220V line from Geelong, which serves Ballarat and Horsham before reaching Mildura. Another starts in NE Vic and serves Shepparton and Bendigo before Mildura. An third line runs from Wagga Wagga to Broken Hill with a cross-border connection to Mildura. The first 2 of these lines are no doubt close to capacity serving other cities along the route, particularly constraints on the Geelong-Ballarat sector. Extra capacity from Geelong to Ballarat could free up more capacity further up the line.

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