Seeking to understand the multi-region islanding event on Saturday 25th August

On Saturday 25th August 2018, the NEM experienced what has been called by others a “near miss” event, with both Queensland and South Australia being islanded from the rest of the NEM as a result of the tripping of QNI and Heywood interconnectors (respectively).

I saw this happened on the day, so had time to post an initial brief article “Both QLD and SA islanded from the rest of the NEM on Saturday 25th August 2018”.  The following Monday, i was able to follow up with “Taking a look at Saturday’s islanding event through 4 second SCADA data”, also on WattClarity.

With some assistance from a couple of external Analysts, today we’ve posted “Further analysis of the (very rare) double-islanding events of Saturday 25th August 2018” via WattClarity, by drawing heavily on our ez2view software.

In response, we saw a range of activity ourselves, including:

(1)  One-on-one questions with clients

Our prime focus is (and always has been) on continually enhancing how we serve our diverse and growing range of clients, who use our software (and other products) to help them understand what’s going on in the energy market.

As such, it was not really a surprise that we fielded a number of questions about what was going on.  We appreciate these questions – as they stretch our capability to understand, and explain clearly, complex events such as what happened on 25th August.

(2)  On social media

As would be expected, there was plenty of coverage (and much speculation) about the event via social media (I only participate in Twitter and LinkedIn).  Here’s one particular exchange, noting that there were many:

(3)  In the traditional media

As a result of all of the above, and what we have done in the past, it was also not really a surprise to find ourselves referenced and quoted in the more traditional media over that week, and in the discussion that followed.  Here are some of the references we noted:

Monday 27th August

First off the blocks (as far as we know) Giles Parkinson utilised the early information published in our WattClarity article on Saturday to write “On first day as PM, Morrison learns difference between Big Battery and Big Banana” here.

We, in turn, grabbed two of the images in Giles’ post to update the deeper analysis we had coincidentally posted on the same day.

Tuesday 28th August

We noted a reference to WattClarity in Andrew White and Perry Williams’ article “Brace for more blackouts without a clear energy policy, Spark CEO warns” in the Australian.

Saturday 1st September

On Saturday, we noted that Ben Potter and Angela Macdonald-Smith utilised the 2 articles on WattClarity in putting together their online article “How the NSW energy grid almost went dark last week”.  The print edition (titled “Bolt from the blue bodes ill”, and included below) also included an artist’s reproduction of the NEMwatch snapshot originally included in the WattClarity post on the day of the islanding.

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Animation on WattClarity helps explain what happened during yesterday’s blackout throughout South Australia

Our CEO, Paul McArdle spent the best part of last night piecing together the animation below in an attempt to understand what went on leading up to and during yesterday’s blackout throughout South Australia. Using ez2view, the animation explains what happened in generation and demand levels in South Australia between 06:00 and 17:00 on Wednesday the 28th of September, 2016.

An initial post and an update on the situation has already been posted on WattClarity, but time permitting, more analysis of what’s happened will be published over the coming days and weeks.

Energy generator uses WattClarity and ez2view to highlight demand side response in consultation paper for rule change request

The Snowy Hydro Corporation have submitted a rule change request that would see a change to the National Electricity Rules to oblige price sensitive demand greater than 30MW to bid into central dispatch.

An excerpt from this WattClarity article posted in January 2014 was used in the ‘Statement of issue’ section of the consultation paper, including a screenshot taken from ez2view.

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