Quick wrap of the winners of our “best forecaster in the NEM” competition for extended summer 2015-16


Firstly, to our very patient competition entrants, please accept my apologies:

You have waited a long time since entries were opened through November 2015:
(a)  you’ve waited through the 4 months of extended summer (with the occasional “I think I’m pretty close!” kind of email or comment);
(b)  you’ve waited especially patiently through 4 weeks of April, whilst I’ve struggled to find the time to crunch the numbers given everything else we have going on*

I’ve not got much time today, so will launch straight into it.

Refresher on the 7 competitions, the prizes, and the fine print

For those who wish to refresh themselves on these sorts of details, please refer here.


Tabulating the 7 winners:

Cutting to the chase, winners for each of the 7 competitions are as follows:

Competition #1
{The Main Prize}
Peak NEM-Wide Demand
for the “extended summer” period
NEM-wide demand peaked at the level of 32,099MW on Wednesday 13th January 2016 at 16:55 on the day (as noted here at the time on WattClarity).

The winner of the grand prize this year (the big BBQ) was Stuart Watts at network company Endeavour Energy, with an entry only 7MW above the mark.

Competition #2 {Consolation} Peak Queensland Demand
for the same period
A new all-time record was set for demand in Queensland this summer – with a level of 9,158MW set on Monday 1st February 2016 at 16:45 (as noted here on WattClarity the day after).The winner of a handy consolation prize (the portable BBQ) was the QLD local, Michael Day at engineering consulting firm, QGE with an entry an amazing 1MW above!
Competition #3 {Consolation} Peak NSW Demand
for the same period
A reasonable level of peak demand was seen in NSW this summer – with a level of 13,529MW set on 25th February 2016 at 16:35 (as noted here on WattClarity on the day).   Note the orange colour in the NEM-Watch map snapshot in the article implying still a way to go to reach the level of the all-time maximum, and the discussion in that article of some reasons why.The winner of a handy consolation prize (the portable BBQ) was the NSW local, Stephanie Easton at Infigen Energy with an entry only 2MW above that mark.
Competition #4 {Consolation} Peak Victoria Demand
for the same period
Demand peaked in Victoria  just two days prior to the NSW peak, and hence also late in the season – with a level of 9,280MW set on 23rd February 2016 at 16:00 (as noted here on WattClarity on the day).The winner of a handy consolation prize (the portable BBQ) was Reinhard Struve in a SA Government Department with an entry only 1MW below!
Competition #5 {Consolation} Peak South Australia Demand
for the same period
Peak demand arrived in the lead-up to Christmas for South Australia this summer – with a level of 2,948MW set on 17th December 2015 at 17:05 (an event we missed at the time).  One of the occasions where demand peaks in SA don’t correspond to demand peaks in Victoria as much as my gut feel says they used to (due to the significant overlay of wind output in SA complicating old heuristics).The winner of a handy consolation prize (the portable BBQ) was Reinhard Struve in a SA Government Department with an entry only 2MW above!  We’ll be asking Reinhard what he wants to do with his 2 portable BBQs.
Competition #6 {Consolation} Peak Tasmania Demand
for the same period
Peak demand arrived early for Tasmania this summer (both early in the day, and also early in the season) – with a level of 1,323.8MW on Tuesday 3rd December 2015 at 06:35 (yes, we had to go down to decimal points here).The winner of a handy consolation prize (the portable BBQ) was Elijah Pack at AEMO with an entry only 1.8MW off the mark – and also only 0.4MW closer than the next closest entry (from another of our very keen forecasters)!
Competition #7{Consolation} Peak Aggregate NEM-Wide Wind Production
for the same period
Peak wind generation surprised on the low-side this summer:
(1)  The peak level was lower than I was expecting; and
(2)  The peak level was also much lower than all except one of our competition entrants were expecting.

The peak level was only 2,069MW and was set on Tuesday 1st December 2015 at 09:45 (i.e. it only just squeezed into “summer”).

The winner of a handy consolation prize (the portable BBQ) was Patrick Booth at consulting firm, Energetics with an entry that was way below this level (but still closer than all the other entrants who had guessed massively over the actual level of the peak)!

We will shortly be in touch with all 6 winners (Reinhard twice!) in order to arrange for delivery of your nice prizes.

A big thank-you once again to the many people who entered (and also waited very patiently for the summer to work its way through, and for me to find the time in April to run the numbers.


Other analysis to come

As time permits, I will look in more detail at each of the 7 metrics in order to update the analysis done 12 months ago for the end of the 2014-15 summer.

Long-time readers would know that it’s a topic I am intensely curious about, as it is part-and-parcel of questions (like this one) about where the electricity sector is headed over the longer term.  Questions to ponder include:
(1)  How are the times of peak demand transitioning outside of sunlight hours, even in summer (and what does that mean for the future with increasing volumes of PV – including ramp rate of demand);
(2)  Has the variability of wind output changed in some way – why was I (and all of our entrants) surprised as such a low peak output?

However with a very busy May ahead, don’t hold your breath for it all to be done (i.e. 7 pieces or more) any time soon…


A few other things we have on

My excuse for not having got to the competition yet is that we’ve a number of irons in the fire in different areas.

We’re continuing to invest heavily in the ongoing development of both existing products, and new ones to be added to our suite – all focused on aspects of making complexity understandable in the energy sector.  If you would like to discuss any of these (or other initiatives) please give me a buzz (+61 7 3368 4064).


That’s all for now, folks!

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.

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