Price spikes to $15,000/MWh in South Australia on Friday 12th March 2021 … part 1

I had been wondering whether we might experience something like this…


What’s shown above is the snapshot of the 18:05 dispatch interval using one of our permanently running NEMwatch v10 dashboards operating around our offices.  We can see the SA dispatch price up at the Market Price Cap (currently $15,000/MWh), at only 1651MW of Scheduled Demand (very much in the ‘green zone’)

What’s happening is interesting in its own right (and a little hairy for the AEMO operations people grappling with a fast-evolving situation) … but it also does pose an interesting real-time reminder of some other broader questions posed by the  announcement this week that Yallourn would close in 2028, earlier than expected (and the absolute inundation of media coverage that followed!)

More to come…


PS added later

Here’s a quick tabulation of the coverage of this event on Wattclarity:

within this Case Study


Part 1

Fri 12th March 2021

This short article here was added early in the evening, to communicate early about the dramas unfolding

Part 2

Sat 13th March 2021
(early in the morning)

This longer article was written through the evening and published early Saturday morning (as Part 2) – being a focus on what was visible in the heat of the moment, and without access to Private Data (or a cooler head).

Part 3

Sat 13th March 2021

This shorter article published at the end of the day, outlining how the events of Friday in South Australia prompted thoughts about the future of the Victorian region, following the closure of Yallourn.

Part 4

Monday 15th March 2021

Guest author, Allan O’Neil, contributed this ‘Down 55% – but not out’ article that covered a number of different aspects of what went on on this eventful evening … both top-down and bottom-up.

Part 5

Friday 19th March 2021

AEMO published  their ‘Preliminary Incident Report – Trip of Torrens Island A and B West 275 kV busbars on 12 March 2021’ this afternoon.

Part 6

More to come?

Perhaps there will be more, as there are still a few questions we are puzzled about….


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 "Price spikes to $15,000/MWh in South Australia on Friday 12th March 2021 … part 1"

  1. was a transformer fire at Torrens island power station

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