New power demand record set yesterday, forecast exceeded

A new winter season electricity consumption record was set by the grid yesterday, exceeding levels reached during the energy crisis in the winter of 2017.

Power grid operator IPTO’s forecast of 178,000 MWh for yesterday ended up reaching 185,000 MWh, setting a new record for one day’s demand during the winter.

IPTO’s miscalculation prompted lower day-ahead market levels and a lower System Marginal Price (SMP) of 75.70 euros per MWh. This wholesale price level would probably have been higher had the operator’s electricity demand forecasts been more accurate.

The operator’s miscalculation has been attributed to a misjudgement of the impact on electricity demand of the return to normal work and production schedules following the festive season.

The winter weather conditions were milder yesterday compared to Tuesday but the return to full-scale operations at most schools, businesses and industrial enterprises was underestimated. January 6, Epiphany (Theofania), is a public holiday in Greece.

IPTO had forecast a demand level of 7,770 MW for midday yesterday but the actual level reached 8,996 MW. The forecast for 1 pm was 7,750 MW but ended up reaching 8,936 MW, while the forecast for 2 pm, 7,670 MW, was also less than the resulting 8,904 MW figure.

The additional electricity amounts needed by the grid prompted greater distribution difficulties. Solar energy output was diminished due to the weather conditions but wind energy levels were up for a number of hours.

All available thermal and hydropower facilities needed to be called into action, while industrial enterprises were placed on stand by for implementation of the demand response mechanism if the pressure on the grid worsened. This alert ended up not being triggered as temperatures registered sharp rises of more than five degrees Celsius between 11 am and 1 pm.