Two quick notes about what happened in Victoria on Friday 25th January 2019 following conversations with a number of people.
cumulative price threshold
Volatility in Queensland on a sizzling Saturday drives the Cumulative Price more than half-way to the Cumulative Price Threshold (where price caps would be imposed).
For only the 5th time in 11 years of NEM history (and the 3rd time for South Australia) four consecutive days of price spikes have forced the Cumulative Price to the Threshold, and AEMO has imposed price caps to prevent retailers from going bust.
For only the third occasion in the 10 1/2 years that the NEM has been operational, the Cumulative Price Threshold (CPT) has been reached. Yesterday evening, the CPT was reached in the Tasmanian region.
Wednesday 28th January saw demand across the NEM jump to unprecedented levels, setting a new record of 34,843MW at 16:00 NEM time. On Thursday 29th January, we saw the demand increase still further, leading to prices that stayed high for much of the day (to the point where the Cumulative Price Threshold was reached in VIC and SA and price caps were imposed), and a relatively small amount of involuntary load shedding occurring in VIC and SA.
On 19th January, high prices were sustained in SA for several hours, bringing the Cumulative Price within a whisker of the $150,000 threshold, at which prices would be capped.
With demand soaring, and interconnectors constrained, generators in South Australia and Victoria took what opportunity they had to force the price high. So successful were the South Australian generators that the Cumulative Price Threshold was reached in South Australia and, under NEM Rules, an Administered Price Cap was applied for a period of time.