Electricity Market Prices – Week ending 2 August 2019

Key electricity market observations for the week ending 2 August 2019:

  • AGL this week has softened its hard-stance and announced it will delay the closure of its ageing Liddell (1680 MW) Coal Fire power station in NSW by 4 months, covering the summer peak of 2022-2023, with the plant’s cessation of operations date now expected to be April 2023. AGL’s announcement received welcomed praise from the Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor, who labelled it a “good short-term announcement” which will help to avoid shortfalls of electricity supply across the peak periods. However the federal government has not given up on pressuring the gen-tailer into a longer-term approach to either extend the ageing plants life or on-sell it to someone who will. AGL are holding true to their stance, insisting they will close the plant once it reaches the end of its 50 year life-span.
  • The average weekly spot price for QLD was $65.99/MWh. CS Energy continue to cycle Wivenhoe pumped storage hydro over majority of the morning and evening peaks to cover their hedge position whilst Wivenhoe remains their station to dispatch. Pumping last week largely occurred in the middle of the day and dispatching either morning or evening to protect against spikes. Aside from the Kogan Creek overhaul, QLD had strong thermal availability for the week.
  • The average weekly spot price for NSW was $71.50/MWh. NSW also had strong availability and output from all its black coal thermal units for the week. At this stage, the beginning of the August baseload outages has begun with AGL’s Bayswater 4 unit coming offline on late on the 01/08. PASA also indicates that the next unit to come offline for maintenance is likely one of Origin’s Eraring units on the 13/08.
  • The average weekly spot price for VIC was $103.87/MWh. VIC prices this week increased on last week’s due to multiple factors including:
    • Yallourn Unit 2 coming offline Friday mid-afternoon due to an air heater failure.
    • 1 x 5 minute, $11,500/MWh price spike during Wednesday morning’s peak which was caused by both the VIC to NSW and VIC to SA interconnectors’ import and export limits were both constrained to zero simultaneously by AEMO who effectively islanded VIC and required localised generation to be brought online.
    • significant decrease in wind generation in VIC relative to prior weeks, with majority of the week at levels below 250 MW.
  • SA joined in on the price spike action that occurred in VIC,  experiencing a 5 minute, >$9,000/MWh price spike during Wednesday morning’s peak. This was not the only price spike experienced in SA with multiple -$1,000/MWh price spikes experienced mid-morning on Sunday last week due to a constraint on the VIC to SA interconnector significantly reducing the import limits into VIC and at the highest output period for wind generation during the week. With the lack of wind in the state both Pelican Point and Osbourne GT’s were required to be online all week. The average weekly spot price for SA was $91.93/MWh.
Queensland

New South Wales

Victoria

South Australia

Source: AEMO / ASX Energy