AER to report on high wholesale electricity prices in New South Wales and Queensland

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) monitors and reports on wholesale electricity markets. As part of this role, we report on events that result in wholesale electricity spot prices exceeding $5000 per megawatt hour (MWh).

Most end-customers are not directly exposed to wholesale electricity prices. Energy retailers are the main purchasers in the wholesale electricity market. Retailers bundle electricity with network services for sale to their residential, commercial and industrial customers. Generators and retailers can manage their exposure to price variations in the wholesale market by entering hedge contracts that lock in firm prices for the electricity they intend to produce or buy.

On Friday 10 February the spot price in New South Wales and Queensland exceeded the $5000/MWh reporting threshold on four occasions. Spot prices in New South Wales reached $12 915/MWh at 5:00pm, $13 967/MWh at 5:30pm and $14 000/MWh at 6:00pm. In Queensland the spot price reached $12 222/MWh at 5:00pm.

On Saturday 11 February the spot price exceeded the $5000/MWh reporting threshold on three occasions in Queensland reaching $7628/MWh at 4.30pm, $8569/MWh at 5:00pm and $8372/MWh at 5:30pm.

On Sunday 12 February the spot price in Queensland exceeded the $5000/MWh threshold on one occasion reaching $9005/MWh at 5:30pm.

We expect to publish the report into these high prices within 40 business days, by 10 April 2017, on the AER’s website.

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In addition to reporting on these high price events, the AER will shortly be publishing reports on the following previous price events in the energy and ancillary service markets:

Expected publication dates for recent high price events
Market Event date Region Expected publication date*
Energy 13 January 2017 QLD 14 March 2017
  14 January 2017 QLD 14 March 2017
  2 February 2017 QLD 3 April 2017
  6 February 2017 NSW, QLD 10 April 2017
  8 February 2017 SA 10 April 2017
  9 February 2017 NSW, SA 10 April 2017
FCAS 18 October 2016 SA March 2017
  9 November 2016 SA March 2017
  25 November 2016 SA April 2017
  23 January 2017 SA

April 2017

* Under the Rules, the AER is required to publish the energy high price reports within 40 business days of the end of the week in which the high price event occurred. There is no similar timing requirement for high FCAS price reports.

Issued date: 
13 February 2017
AER reference: 
AC 13/17