This Summer’s Energy Market Highlights

This Summer's Energy Market Highlights

Ever wondered about the underlying events in the wholesale energy market? Let’s see what has impacted the Australian energy market over the summer.

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

Monday, 30 December 2019

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Photo: Snowy Hydro Tumut 3 (Source: Facebook – Fire and Rescue NSW Station 268 Corowa)

Photo: Snowy Hydro Tumut 3 (Source: Twitter – Matt KeanMP)

  • Bushfires caused trips on several major transmission lines in the Snowy region.
  • VIC and NSW energy grids were separated, plus available generation was reduced due to outages on the transmission lines connecting Snowy Hydro assets and the Capital Wind Farm.
  • NSW energy demand was high due to very high temperatures, particularly in western Sydney.
  • AEMO dispatched RERT in NSW in trading intervals from 6.30 pm to 10 pm.
  • NSW spot prices were very high from 3 pm to 6 pm, reaching the maximum level (the market price cap) of $14,700/MWh for some of that time.
  • VIC was exporting to NSW at the time so the sudden loss of connection, combined with the reduced generation, created a risk of significant forced load shedding (blackouts). There were appeals for NSW residents to reduce energy consumption and the worst outcomes were avoided.
  • However, several areas in NSW lost power due to bushfire damage in the Essential Energy network.

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Photo of Dan van Holst Pellekaan

Photo: Dan van Holst Pellekaan, South Australia Minister for Energy and Mining (Source: Facebook – Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP)

Thursday, 23 January 2020

  • AEMO dispatched RERT in NSW in trading intervals from 4 pm to 7 pm.
  • NSW demand was high and a unit at a coal-fired power station went offline unexpectedly.
  • Spot prices were volatile, with high prices in NSW and negative prices in VIC, SA and TAS.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

  • A combination of high temperatures, high energy demand and the unexpected withdrawal of some generation capacity caused very high spot prices in VIC, NSW and SA.

Friday, 31 January 2020

  • Critical Peak Demand Day, as declared by AusNet –
  • A storm knocked over 6 transmission towers and damaged 2 others in western Victoria near Colac.
    Photo of Portland Smelter transmission lines down at Cressy
    Photo of Portland Smelter transmission lines down at Cressy
    Photos: Portland Smelter transmission lines down at Cressy (Source: Facebook – Lismore & District Rural Fire Brigades’ Group, Photos by Daryl Lawrence & Karen Saunders)
  • Two transmission lines (Mortlake 500 kV Line and the Moorabool – Haunted Gully 500 kV Line) went offline, tripping the Heywood interconnector and separating the SA region from the rest of the NEM.
  • NEM demand was just below record levels, reaching 35,043 MW during the 5 pm dispatch interval.
  • AEMO dispatched RERT in VIC and NSW in trading intervals from 5 pm to 9 pm.
  • AusNet estimated that temporary transmission towers would be in place by 14 February. Until then, SA would be effectively ‘islanded’ from the rest of the NEM except for relatively small flows via the DC Murraylink interconnector.
  • To help manage grid stability, the energy generation from four wind farms would be ‘constrained’ down, meaning they cannot operate at full capacity.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

  • NSW temperatures and demand were both high.
  • Lower than expected generation during the afternoon led to AEMO taking action to maintain system security.


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