Price volatility in QLD and NSW on Tuesday 3rd May 2022

A short article with this snapshot from NEMwatch in the 18:10 dispatch interval, which may be referred back to later:


With respect to the numbering on the image:

1)  Prices are elevated in QLD and NSW … up towards the Market Price Cap ;

2)  These prices have been high since the 15:55 dispatch interval (first discrete spike in QLD to $1,018.73/MWh) before starting in earnest from 17:25 above $10,000/MWh in both regions.

3)  Levels of ‘Market Demand’ in both QLD and NSW are quite modest – still in the ‘green zone’ … no kick, yet, from the colder Antarctic blast that’s progressively going to hit the southern parts of the NEM

4)  In this dispatch interval, we see a yellow level alert trigger for Instantaneous Reserve Plant Margin (IRPM) for the QLD+NSW ‘Economic Island’ formed by the constrained flow on the VIC-NSW interconnector (see note 7 below) … indicating a general tightness of supply-demand balance.

5)  These are reflected in the Market Notices shown for Low Reserve Condition warnings for both QLD and NSW:

(a)  Actual LOR1 Low Reserve Condition in QLD from 17:48 (Market Notice 96023); and

(b)  Forecast LOR1 Low Reserve Condition in NSW forecast at 17:48 (Market Notice 96024) from 18:00 this evening…. updating earlier warning

6)  The Fuel Mix trend for the QLD region shows

(a)  No solar generation at this time of autumn.

(b)  Wind generation climbing back up past 200MW from a very low lull in the middle of the day.

(c)  Coal has a number of units off on planned and forced outages:

i.  See the unit outages in the ‘Outages’ widget from ez2view here:


ii.  Note also the coal quality issues affecting Millmerran unit 2 as an outcome of La Nina rains.

(d)  Gas units ramping up

(e)  There’s more purple from liquid fuel … seeing more opportunity to run than the ‘avoid uneconomic start’ reason for withdrawal of capacity yesterday (there may have been other units as well).

(f)  There’s also a smudge of pink visible this evening (and also in the middle of the day) because it looks like the Wandoan Battery has finally managed to operate at above the 35MW hold point it was stuck at to date – this evening running at around 75MW.

7)  Worth noting particularly that the VIC to NSW interconnector is not flowing at all, with import and export limit both set to 0MW – because of:

(a)  The ‘N::N_RVYS_2’ constraint equation noted in yesterday’s article limiting flows north; and

(b)  The ‘NRM_NSW1_VIC1’ negative settlements residue management constraint equation  impacting flows south.

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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