Electricity demand set to climb in NSW on Thursday with the hot weather forecast


The Bureau or Meteorology is forecasting hotter weather for NSW later this week – including temperatures above 40 degrees in Western Sydney as noted here for Penrith:

2017-12-11-weatherforecast-Penrithpng

Knowing the strong correlation between temperatures and electricity demand (which is why we were happy to work with Energy Consumer’s Australia in providing the ECA Widget, for instance), I took a look at how AEMO’s successive ST PASA forecasts are looking, using the Forecast Convergence widget within ez2view:

2017-12-11-at-19-50-ez2view-ForecastConvergence-DemandinNSW

We see that the demand forecast for NSW on Thursday is higher than the surrounding days, and has climbed significantly over the past couple hours – but is still 2,000MW below the all-time maximum demand.   As highlighted on the image, the peak is forecast to be around 16:00 NEM time (so 17:00 in NSW with daylight savings time).

With the hot weather, it’s obviously of interest how the large-scale solar projects are forecasts to contribute through the day, so we had a look at this (as well) through the Forecast Convergence widget in ez2view.  In this view, the data combines the two major intermittent generation sources in the NEM (wind and solar, though note that only large-scale solar is taken account of in AEMO forecasts – not the larger contribution from small-scale solar):

2017-12-11-at-20-05-ez2view-ForecastConvergence-WindandSolar

As we see in this chart, output from large-scale solar and wind in NSW is forecast to climb from today’s low level to a peak for the week on Thursday, and that the forecast for Thursday is increasing.  The time of forecast peak demand (at 16:00 on Thursday) is flagged on this chart – as could be understood, this late in the day (i.e. 17:00 in Sydney with daylight savings) is starting to tail off as discussed here earlier this year.

2017-12-11-at-20-05-ez2view-ForecastConvergence-SurplusGenerationNSW

In the third view from the Forecast Convergence widget, we look at the AEMO’s successive forecasts for Surplus Generation and we see that recent runs of the forecast have shown the level dropping (to a low point below zero around 15:30 on the day).  Now, to those who might be predisposed to misinterpret these numbers:

  • it does not mean that there won’t be enough generation capacity;
  • it does mean that NSW will probably be drawing heavily on interconnection with QLD and VIC
  • it also probably means that prices will be quite high, as it should be to signal the supply scarcity.

We’ll watch Thursday unfold in real time with great interest (from what will hopefully be a cooler Brisbane).  For readers without a licence to one of our products, you can also watch this through the ECA Widget.


PS – Victoria and South Australia to see higher demand Wednesday

Looking further afield in the data this Tuesday morning, I see AEMO’s successive forecasts for demand in Victoria and South Australia are increasing, so we’ll be watching this as well.

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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