Jemena has developed contingency plans to deal with unexpected issues that may impact on gas supply in (or into) our network. The types of issues we plan for are varied. One of the most relevant for our large commercial and industrial customers is an event requiring ‘load shedding’ by the distribution network.
Load shedding occurs when demand on the distribution network exceeds available supply. In these circumstances, in an attempt to avoid a partial or complete loss of supply across sections of the network, we may need to curtail customer withdrawals from the network to ensure the network’s minimum pressure is maintained. Load shedding events are rare, but we understand such an event can have a substantial impact on the operations of our large commercial and industrial customers.
So we can plan for load shedding events, large commercial and industrial customers are required to nominate a percentage of their capacity that could be surrendered in the event load shedding is required. This nomination is commonly known as ‘ELMS data’. ELMS data is primarily established at the time a customer enters the demand market for the first time and then is reviewed by the customer (and Jemena) as the customer’s gas requirements change over time.
ELMS data assists Jemena plan for unexpected issues that may require load shedding, determine which customers are likely to be affected and assess the likely impacts on those customers. Some of the key considerations that inform our load shedding plans and any decision to load shed include (but are not Iimited to):
- the potential impact on essential services;
- the potential impact on the broader public;
- impacts on public safety;
- a customer’s existing gas load; and
- the relative cost on, and potential for interruption to, a customers operations.