Early Friday 10th February – forecasts for near-record electricity demand and load shedding in NSW

A quick update on yesterday’s post at 06:10 and update in the early afternoon relating to the AEMO’s forecasts for today in the NSW region of what really has become the “pressure cooker” of the National Electricity Market:
1)  In an environment where searing temperatures will test all manner of equipment (physical and mental), and set air-conditioning units boiling;
2)  Where politicians have devolved to all manner of puerile name-calling and finger-pointing, but with not one accepting any share of responsibility for the mess we find ourselves in (when, in reality, they are all just as much at fault).

Here’s a snapshot from NEM-Watch at 06:15 NEM Time (so 07:10 in Sydney under daylight savings) showing an expected peak in Scheduled Demand up at 14,584MW at 16:30.  This would be very close to eclipsing the prior record of 14,649MW measured on a dispatch target basis experienced back in February 2011 and documented here at the time:


Were it to eventuate this would be a remarkable outcome given this list of factors that has been working to suppress Scheduled Demand since around 2009.  Two key ones here:

1)  At the large-scale end, there was the closure of Kurri Kurri aluminium smelter which removed several hundred megawatts of base-load consumption from the demand stack; and

2)  At the small-scale end, the growth of solar PV saw yesterday total injections in NSW behind the meter (hence netting off Scheduled Demand) estimated to be 800MW.

Also highlighted on the snapshot is AEMO’s warnings of a shortage of reserves for NSW tomorrow (Saturday 11th February) and also a tight supply/demand balance for QLD today.

For those who are interested, they can key an eye on how temperatures are influencing electricity consumption in NSW (and also the other regions of the NEM, and in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) in WA in the NEM-Watch Consumption Widget located a number of places, including:

1)  On the Energy Consumer’s Australia website here (our sponsor for this widget); and

2)  On our NEM-Watch Website here (with an explanation, underneath, of what you’re looking at).

We hope that everyone stays as cool as possible, and well-hydrated, in the heat today.

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.

1 Comment on "Early Friday 10th February – forecasts for near-record electricity demand and load shedding in NSW"

  1. Why is it a “remarkable outcome” that we are on track to break the 2011 record. How many more people are there now in NSW than in 2011? Probably half a million at least. Yes there is the penetration of Solar PV, but there are also many small and subtle power hungry developments , such as the continuing increase in average house size, the increase in size and number of appliances, huge televisions, coffee machines , computer equipment etc. Its surprising it hasn’t happened sooner.

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