New rules to improve framework for electricity system restart after blackouts

02 April 2015

The Australian Energy Market Commission today made new rules to improve the frameworks which govern how the electricity network is restarted in the event of a large scale blackout of the entire power system in the National Electricity Market.

The Commission has made the changes to the system restart ancillary services frameworks so that consumers pay no more than necessary for the restoration of electricity supplies following a large-scale blackout.

Blackouts can have significant economic and social impacts, so it is important there are enough restart services available to quickly restore power supply.

The Commission’s rule changes are intended to make the market for system restart services more competitive, to improve governance arrangements and  to make restart services prices more cost reflective.

The changes to restart services frameworks will:

  • provide the Australian Energy Market Operator with more flexibility to seek out the lowest cost restart services while maintaining an appropriate degree of accountability and transparency in the procurement process;
  • expand the range of potential restart services;
  • clarify  that the purpose of these services is to allow the independent restoration of each subnetwork;
  • clarify the roles and responsibilities of the Australian Energy Market Operator and the Reliability Panel within the restart services frameworks; and
  • recover the costs of restart services on the basis of the regional benefits they provide.

The AEMC has made these rules in response to two separate rule change proposals made by the Australian Energy Market Operator, as well as a group of stakeholders including the National Generators Forum, AGL, Alinta Energy, Energy Brix, GDF Suez, Intergen and Origin Energy.

Given the overlap in issues raised in the two rule change proposals, the Commission decided to consolidate and address them as a single rule change.

For information contact:

Media: Communication Manager, Prudence Anderson 0404 821 935 or 02 8296 7817