Today’s electricity demand with the 2014 Melbourne Cup

Given the interest in yesterday’s post about electricity demand over 13 prior horse races, I thought it would be worthwhile to post the following record from NEM-Watch today:

Dispatch target for 14:00 NEM time

For those unfamiliar with the industry, note that AEMO (the market operator):
(a)  Works in Australian Eastern Standard Time (no daylight savings)
(b)  estimates what the demand will be at 14:00 NEM time at around 13:55 and, with this estimate, determines which generators will be called on to generate to meet that demand in 5 minute’s time – hence issuing “dispatch instructions” to tell them what to do.

For the 14:00 dispatch interval, the following was what we saw in NEM-Watch:

Demand at 14:00 just prior to the running of the Melbourne Cup

So around this time, the horses are in the stalls, waiting for the start.

As some background, note that each region is colour-coded on its own sliding scale between dark blue (very low demand for that region) and red (record demand).  Hence we see demand in Victoria and South Australia particularly low (with NSW, QLD and TAS more “median”).

Dispatch target for 14:05 NEM time

Five minutes later, the market updates to show the following:

Demand target at 14:05 as the horses start racing

It’s around the time that AEMO publishes these targets (i.e. around 14:00) that the race is off and running.

Dispatch target for 14:10 NEM time

The race takes only a few minutes so by the time the next dispatch targets are published the race is all done and dusted:

Demand target at 14:10 with the finish line behind

(apologies for any errors in the subtractions above)

Skipping 14:15 NEM time

We’ll skip this one

Dispatch target for 14:20 NEM time

We might assume anyone who “downed tools” for the temporary disruption might be back at work by this time.

At 14:20 demand is lower still

Yet we see demand is lower still than it was at 14:10

Skipping 14:25 NEM time

We’ll skip this one

Skipping 14:30 NEM time

We’ll skip this one (noting that it’s around this time that radio coverage skips back to normal stories).

Dispatch target for 14:35 NEM time

We have to wait until this time to see demand return to pre-race “normal”:

Demand returns to "normal" by 14:35

Putting the race into context

In case these changes seem substantial, you might like to refer to this post from summer 2008-09 when NEM-Wide demand exceeded 35,000MW (so almost twice today’s level) and established a new all-time record in another day that Victorians will long remember for other reasons.

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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