For a couple of reasons today (including the hot weather forecast for today, and the release yesterday of another interim upgrade to NEM-Watch v10 ) we opted to invest some time today to look at the level reached for Queensland demand today.
What’s happened thus far in “extended summer” 2014-15 to date
Back on 24th December, we posted these general comments about what might be expected in the Queensland region over the extended summer period for 2014-15. At that time, the Queensland demand had already peaked at 8,472MW on 17th December 2014 (a high level, but still 500MW or so off the record). In that post, I wrote about whether the increase in upstream compression would result in Queensland defying the overall trend of declining demand.
In particular, we noted how it was of interest that this peak occurred later in the day than would have been the case several years ago, with solar PV hollowing out scheduled demand when the sun shines strongly.
On 14th January, we also noted about the mysterious jump in Queensland demand observed (late 2014) by our friends at Pitts & Sherry.
Hence, we thought it useful to recap, in the following chart from NEM-Review, what’s actually happened with respect to QLD demand so far over this “extended summer” period through until 31st March 2015:
The key takeaway, at least from the perspective of those in the running to win competition #2, and those more generally interested in the peakiness of electricity demand in the National Electricity Market, is that the result on 17th December has since been exceeded – with the new “highest so far” demand being 8,610MW. This occurred on Thursday 15th January 2015.
Again, we note this was achieved later in the day – as aggregated solar PV injections was in its end-of-day decline.
A detailed look at Thursday 5th March 2015
Hence this brings us to Thursday 5th March – a day on which I indulged my natural curiosity to have a closer look:
Forecast on Monday 2nd March
This curiosity was peaked on Monday this week, when we noticed weather warnings – and so posted these early comments about what was forecast to be a high demand day today. In particular, under the 50% POE weather scenario in ST PASA, the forecast peak was only around 8,250MW.
Forecast on Wednesday 4th March
Wednesday morning we looked in NEM-Watch v10.0.1 and GasWatch mobile and prepared this mashup highlighting how gas prices on Wednesday were helping to explain the high prices seen in the electricity market (and vice-versa).
At the end of the working day, we looked forward into the following day and saw that the forecast peak demand for Thursday was in excess of 8,500MW (so higher than the 50% POE forecast had been in PASA on Monday).
However we’ve lived through many instances where forecasts have not quite worked out in reality – hence we were uncertain what would actually happen on the day.
As it unfolded on the day…
It was of interest that we arrived at work this morning to see what was then forecast, as shown in the following snapshot from NEM-Watch at 08:45 NEM time:
At that point we’d resolved to invest some time today in digging further, and preparing this post. At 15:15 we took (and tweeted) this snapshot of the market highlighting how (adjusting for approximately 500MW of solar PV injections behind the meter) the Queensland demand was very close to the historical record:
As 15:55 the demand had passed the 8,500MW mark and was on its way higher (with temperatures high but solar output already well down from its peak* of 710MW at 11:40 this morning):
* incidentally, the peak QLD solar output today (710MW at 11:40) was not far off the highest we’ve seen through summer (747MW a couple days ago).
As the afternoon progressed, demand continued to grow.
This snapshot from 16:50 shows a massive QLD Dispatch Demand Target of 8,892MW which was only 51MW below the all-time record. This is even more remarkable when considering that the solar injections into the grid at that time were estimated by APVI to be about 173MW – meaning that, adjusting for solar, a new peak in demand (9,065MW) was achieved at this point.
It’s also worth pointing out in the above, with respect to demand levels being achieved, that there’s plenty of demand response activity we’re seeing as well in response to price volatility (though this was also the case in the peak reached in 2009-10).
Given that solar has been progressively declining through the afternoon with the path of the setting sun, we’ve stuck around for a while to see what eventuates in terms of dispatch target demand
As a brief PS to the post completed yesterday …
By 18:00 on Thursday, demand was well and truly declining, so I headed home for the day – so it was with some surprise that I saw that, by 19:00 (as shown here in this snapshot from NEM-Watch v10.0.1 ) that demand had climbed back up, almost to that same level again:
As noted on the image above, we presume that home air-conditioning load contributed significantly to this significant jump in after-work demand.
One further outcome of the volatility yesterday is that the Cumulative Price for Queensland (the rolling total of 7 days of trading prices) had risen at that time to almost $100,000 (on Friday morning it’s above $110,000) – hence well on its way to the Cumulative Price Threshold (the level at which AEMO steps in to cap prices for the region).
What this means for those in the running for a BBQ prize
With respect to our summer BBQ give-away (and in particular competition #2 in this instance) we have a few entrants sweating on what happens to the lucky forecaster who is closest to the mark with their forecast for the maximum Queensland regional demand over this 4-month “extended summer” period.
This chart sums up the situation, with most entrants already out of the running as a result of the high level of demand experienced today:
This leaves a much smaller number of entries (under 10%) still in the running for the BBQ. Those entrants will have to wait for April to see who gets the prize…