It’s Monday 13th January 2020 – so we have perhaps another 2 weeks until schools are back and businesses are fully cranked back up after the extended holiday period. It’s in late January or early February when we would ordinarily* expect supply/demand to be tested to the greatest degree, should that period coincide with heatwave conditions.
* not that much about this summer (to date) has been “ordinary”, with high stress in South Australia on 19th December and high stress in Victoria on 20th December – prompting this extraordinary Market Notice on 23rd December. The bushfires really took a bite out of the grid on Saturday 4th January, leading to separation between NSW and Victoria (and reportedly also between QLD and NSW on Monday 6th January).
In the context of what’s gone by the past few weeks, and in anticipation that we would ordinarily experience heightened stress in the coming weeks, it’s worth a short note to highlight that Loy Yang A2 is offline:
1) The unit tripped offline on 18th May 2019, before finally returning to service on 24th December;
2) However only 3 days later it unexpectedly fell offline again on 27th December;
3) And I can’t remember hearing anything specifically about this since…. (if anyone has seen any announcement, perhaps they can point to that in comments below?)
That means that the plant has been offline now for over 16 days, which is a decent length outage in its own right – and one that does make me wonder about the size of the snag. Here’s a 30-day trend using this query in NEMreview v7:
There are those who believe they have some proficiency in ‘reading the tea-leaves in MT PASA data’ to the point where it is a perceived competitive advantage.
However my sense is that there is a much better option which has been presented to us in the form of two rule change proposals submitted by ERM Power in August 2019 (discussed here and here), and for which the AEMC made a (mostly favourable) draft ruling 24th October (noted here), with comments on this due just last week, 9th January 2020.
Let’s make this happen, so we could all (for instance) have a clearer view of what AGL Energy’s current thinking is about when Loy Yang A2 would be back online – and hence how serious these latest snags are…