Victoria’s 600 MW brown coal plant outage leads to price spike but system survives

Yesterday, 22 Jan 2019, total power demand on Australia’s East Coast reached – just like 5 days earlier – the 35 GW mark.

All-regions_17-22Jan2019Fig 1: Power generation by source for 5 East Coast States

Just at peak time, Victoria’s brown coal generation dropped by 600 MW (and another 1,000 MW at 1 am at night).

Victoria-generation_22Jan2019Fig 2: Victoria power generation on 22 Jan 2019

As a result, power prices surged 10-fold to $2,600/MWh

VIC-AEMO-dashboard_22Jan2019Fig 3: Victoria electricity prices and demand 22 Jan 2019

The price spike in Victoria was also observed in the neighbouring States Tasmania and South Australia, but not in New South Wales.


It is widely believed (but not supported by calculations) that electric cars will take over to solve environmental, climate and oil depletion problems. But Australia’s power supply system would not be able to cope with an extra demand of around 3,000 MW if all petrol/diesel cars were converted to EVs. Moreover, the Federal government thinks it can afford the luxury of continuing to allow 160 K new immigrants (plus other visa classes) every year and accommodate them in energy hungry and lift dependent high rises in capital cities.



Previous post:

NSW power imports in January 2019 heatwave exceed 2 GW, drive up electricity prices