Victoria’s snap lockdown drops demand forecast by ~1000MW

Today (at around 12:00 NEM time) VIC premier Dan Andrews held a press conference and announced the state of Victoria would commence a short burst of Level 4 lockdown – I grabbed this statement at 12:20:


… with the key piece of information (from the perspective of the NEM) being that the lockdown starts at 23:00 today (NEM time) and ends 23:00 on Wednesday 17th February.

Out of curiosity over beer o’clock with the team, I opened up the latest version on ez2view version 8 (which incidentally just passed all the automated test on build, so might be ready for release next week!) to have a look at how the AEMO short-term forecasting team has taken account of this in their forecasts for the coming 5 days…


(A)  ‘Forecast Convergence’ widget

Here’s the ‘Forecast Convergence’ widget which shows a clear change between the 13:00 ST PASA run (i.e. prior to the change being taken into account) and the 14:00 ST PASA run (i.e. published ~90 minutes after the end of the press conference).  So quick work on the AEMO’s part to integrate.


Interesting that

1)   There’s a very large difference between the AEMO forecast for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week between the two runs; however

2)  There’s no difference shown for the weekend.


(B)  ‘PASA’ widget

The older ‘PASA’ widget proves even more useful in this situation, because of the ‘delta’ function which helps to read off the specific numbers:


For the middle of the day Tuesday we see a drop in the forecast of 1,134MW from the prior run at 13:00 to the ‘with COVID lockdown’ run at 14:00.  That’s 22%!


(C)  … but remember these are forecasts, at this point

A quick note for any reader that might be predisposed to doomsday scenarios … these are (at this point) forecasts, not actuals, so we’ll have to wait to see how next week evolves ….



PS1 – overlooked Market Notice 82831

A quick PS on Saturday 13th Feb 2021 because I notice I’d overlooked Market Notice 82831 published at 14:48 NEM time on Friday 12th Feb that said:

Notice ID 82831
Notice Type ID Subjects not covered in specific notices
Notice Type Description MARKET
Issue Date Friday, 12 February 2021
External Reference Updated VIC demand forecast following change to COVID-19 restrictions


An adjustment has been made to the Victoria demand forecast from Monday 15th February to Wednesday 17th February 2021 inclusive to reflect the change to COVID-19 restrictions announced at 1230 hrs Friday 12th February.

These changes are incorporated into the 1400 hrs STPASA run. AEMO will continue to monitor and update all forecasts as necessary but at this stage no adjustments have been made to the weekend demand forecasts for 13th and 14th February 2021.

As a result of the implementation of the COVID restrictions in Victoria, there remains some uncertainty in the Victoria demand forecast over this period.

Manager Operational Forecasting



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 "Victoria’s snap lockdown drops demand forecast by ~1000MW"

  1. As time progresses the cumulative financial impact on the small business sector from sudden Victorian lockdowns will make it harder for AEMO to accurately forecast electricity consumption. Small business is all about “confidence” and small business working capital has been severely eroded with lockdowns. Is it possible to provide an update to this article with a graph of the actual consumption compared to STPASA forecast? AEMO’s 2020 Electricity Statement of Opportunities Figure 57 states that the largest consumer of NEM supplied electricity in ‘Victoria’ is Small and Medium Enterprises. However, in AEMO’s 2020-21 Budget the largest consumer of NEM supplied electricity in the ‘NEM’ is large business at 57%, followed by residential at 28% and small business at 15%. The 2020-21 AEMO budget also states that “consumption of less than 10 MWh per annum is a household”. Identifying your largest customer and understanding their consumption intentions is critical to AEMO’s forecasts and AEMO’s Integrated System Plan.

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