NEM-wide IRPM drops below 15% on Monday 5th September 2022

My SMS alerts have started buzzing again this evening to signal that the NEM-wide IRPM has dropped below 15% again:



A couple quick notes:

(A)  The meaning of IRPM?

As noted in this page in the expanding WattClarity® Glossary, the IRPM is an acronym for the Instantaneous Reserve Plant Margin … which:

1)  Is a non-price based indicator of the balance between supply and demand (i.e. low percentages indicate tighter conditions);

2)  Has featured in our NEMwatch software since the early days of the NEM; and, as such

3)  Has also featured in a number of articles on WattClarity, such as these ones tagged here.


(B)  The levels seen on Monday 5th September 2022

Here’s a snapshot from NEMwatch at the 18:30 dispatch interval, with the IRPM dropping down to 12.17% (rounded to 12% in the display):


As we would expect, prices are elevated across all regions with the tight supply-demand balance.


(C)  Historical count of low IRPM dispatch intervals

We’ll be exploring in further detail for the GenInsights Quarterly Update for Q3 2022 for those clients who have subscribed to that – but here’s a quick teaser:


We’ll see how the numbers actually end up for the 9 months to 30th September 2022, but it would not surprise to see a much higher incidence than in any of the recent years … will it be as much as 2000 (pre TAS) and in the (drought-affected) CAL 2007?


(D)  Actual LOR1 in the QLD region

At 18:25 one of our alerts also flagged Market Notice 101482 informing the market of an actual LOR1 Low Reserve Condition in the QLD region:


From : AEMO
Creation Date : 05/09/2022 18:20:06


Notice ID : 101482
Notice Type Description : LRC/LOR1/LOR2/LOR3
Issue Date : 05/09/2022
External Reference : Actual Lack Of Reserve Level 1 (LOR1) in the QLD Region on 05/09/2022


Reason :


Actual Lack Of Reserve Level 1 (LOR1) in the QLD region – 05/09/2022

An Actual LOR1 condition has been declared under clause 4.8.4(b) of the National Electricity Rules for the QLD region from 1800 hrs.

The Actual LOR1 condition is forecast to exist until 1900 hrs.

The forecast capacity reserve requirement is 879 MW.
The minimum capacity reserve available is 758 MW.

Manager NEM Real Time Operations


No surprise that there’s at least one of these, given the low IRPM.




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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