Even the liquid-fuelled plant get a run in SA this evening with Northern offline, demand higher, and wind waning

The machinations in the South Australian region following the Northern power station fire and outage have been interesting to a number of people (such as Malcolm and Giles).

Hence it might be of interest to some of our readers that the higher demand in South Australia this evening, along with the reduced output from wind, has led to the increased production from gas, and even a little output from (more expensive) liquid fuelled generation – as seen in this NEM-Watch snapshot:

A view of South Australia this evening with Northern offline

That’s one of the reasons why the price has spiked as high as $589.50/MWh (on a dispatch interval basis).

Note that one* of the reasons scheduled demand is higher is that some of the wind acts behind the meter to reduce scheduled demand (so was a factor in a lower demand peak yesterday evening) – though keep in mind that the SA demand peak shown (around 2,000MW) is still a long way below its peak.

*  weather probably also played a role (I have not checked), as would have the public holiday on Monday (albeit peak demand was after 5pm).

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.

2 Comments on "Even the liquid-fuelled plant get a run in SA this evening with Northern offline, demand higher, and wind waning"

  1. Paul,
    You should probably mention that gas generators are withholding capacity to drive up price. Considering that wind is a smaller player it seems strange to blame them for the opportunism of others. I noticed that brown coal did not increase production at all in response to demand… 😉


    • Thanks Tom

      I have not looked in this instance, but it would be a natural part of the energy-only market design if generators are “repricing capacity” at times of tight supply/demand balance (a topical activity given this debate going on at present).

      On other occasions other readers have noted that generators don’t physically withhold capacity – so in the past I have used the term “economic withholding”.


      PS in terms of brown coal in South Australia not increasing production, I think it has other things keeping it occupied at present…

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