Prices spike in South Australia on Saturday evening, 19th March 2022 (State Election Day)


A short note with this snapshot from NEMwatch in the 18:15 dispatch interval (NEM time) highlighting prices spiking above $9,900/MWh in the South Australian region:

2022-03-19-at-18-15-NEMwatch-SA-9934bucks

With respect to the annotations, a couple quick notes:

1)  The dispatch price in SA has been above $100/MWh since 15:40, spiking above $1,000/MWh at 18:10 and to the $9,934.23/MWh price in the 18:15 dispatch interval.

2)  ‘Market Demand’ is above 2,000MW and climbing into the evening

3)  Imports from VIC are cranked to the maximum limit

4)  There’s real time fuel switching going on, as solar fades into the evening coincident with a period of low wind as well – meaning that supplies not imported need to come from gas-fired and liquid-fuelled plant, and from the growing number of batteries.

5)  We see in the market notices that there were earlier forecasts for a Low Reserve Condition at LOR1 level this evening, and that AEMO has directed some plant (presumably thermal) to operate to meet the expected demand.

6)  The IRPM in the SA-only ‘Economic Island’ is a healthy level (36%) suggesting that it’s more the lack of sufficient market return that is causing the prices to climb.

With vote counting underway in Adelaide, the NEM has thrown up this price spike as a reminder that energy policy will remain one of the focal points for whoever wins.

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.

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