New record all-time NEM-wide demand (and for VIC and SA) today!

The day is not over yet, but we thought you would be interested in the attached snapshot highlighting the first of the occasions on the day when prices jumped to VOLL in SA and VIC as a result of searing temperatures stopping the tennis, and melting VIC and SA into new demand records for each region.


To cap it all off, we saw a new record set for NEM-wide demand, which was well in excess of the massive demand peak established in July 2008.

Some key numbers, at this stage (14:45 NEM time):

  • Demand record in VIC = 9977MW at 13:45 NEM time
  • Demand record in SA = 3305MW at 13:50 NEM time
  • Demand record NEM-wide = 34,524MW at 14:10 NEM time (easily beating the previous peak set in July 2008 of 34,292MW)

** Note, with respect to these demand numbers, they are “Dispatch Demand Targets”, which mean they come from NEMMCO’s dispatch process (ahead of time) for a 5-minute dispatch interval, and are not metered after the event. The numbers that NEMMCO will be able to provide later (i.e. the metered ones) will be a little different, and probably a bit higher.

Also note that there is shown a very low Instantaneous Reserve Plant Margin (IRPM) in the VIC+SA “Economic Island” today:

  • In the snapshot above, we see < 600MW of spare (i.e. available but unused) capacity across both regions, which equates to about one big unit in the Latrobe Valley;
  • This situation is exacerbated by transmission constraints from NSW and TAS – meaning no more power can be transferred across the lines.
  • Not sure why the transmission capacity is so limited from NSW, though.

Prices through the roof in VIC and SA in the screenshot attached, but have actually been fairly restrained (in the hundreds, mostly – at least, up until the time of writing). Dispatch price in SA is $10,000/MWh – does not show fully in the box.

As we noted in a previous article, most of the entries we received in our “Guess the Peak NEM demand” competition were already too low. We will wait till the dust settles at the end of the day to work out who is left in the running, now.

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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