Watching the AEMO dashboard as a hot summer day hits
Is this the summer crunch-time that the National Grid managers have been fearing?
Today things are not running smoothly in the green states of Victoria and SA where prices this minute have hit $14,000 per MWh (megawatt hour) or $14 per kWh (kilowatt hour). These are wholesale prices.
Right now heads of major industries are watching the dashboard, turning off everything they can turn off, or switching on the diesel generators or counting hundreds of thousands or even millions being added to their bills if production cannot stop.
Demand Management schemes (a form of load shedding) will be running to reduce demand — air conditioners will be remotely switched down.
How much of the productive brain power of Vic and SA is distracted from more useful tasks today?
The AEMO has put out an Actual Lack of Reserve Notice (LOR1) saying that Victoria is 300 MW short: “The contingency capacity reserve required is 1,100 MW (megawatt). The minimum reserve available is 815 MW.”
Another notice of a “non-credible contingency event” (a code for “something broke”) reports that a busbar, transformer, and line have tripped or opened in Victoria, unplanned.
The notices and forecast for tomorrow are worse
With a few hot days in a row, as buildings get warmer and tempers get shorter, people use more electricity. Hence even if temperatures don’t rise, the longer a hot spell goes, the higher the electricity demand.
This is the 30-minute graph including price and demand, and the forecasts for tomorrow. As far as I can tell, often the shocking forecasts which look like being 3 solid hours of $14,000 electricity will instead resolve to smaller shorter spikes. But millions of dollars of productivity is likely to be burned.
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