The Reliability Panel, which forms part of the AEMC’s institutional arrangements, reviews and reports on the safety, security and reliability of the national electricity system.

The Panel is comprised of members who represent a range of participants in the national electricity market, including consumer groups, generators, network businesses, retailers and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

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The Panel determines standards and some of the guidelines used by AEMO and participants which help to maintain a secure and reliable power system for consumers.

Responsibilities

The National Electricity Law sets out the key responsibilities of the Panel.

These include:

  • monitoring, reviewing and reporting on the safety, security and reliability of the national electricity system
  • providing advice in relation to the safety, security and reliability of the national electricity system, at the request of the AEMC.

The Panel’s work program is set by requirements in the National Electricity Rules (NER) and through terms of reference received from the AEMC.

The focus of the Panel’s work is on determining standards required to deliver a secure, reliable and safe power system in the most efficient way in order to minimise costs for consumers.

The Panel also performs detailed monitoring, analysis and consultation.

The Panel is also represented on the AER’s Value of Customer Reliability (VCR) Consultative Committee, providing input to the AER’s determination of VCRs.  

One of the key responsibilities of the Panel is setting and reviewing the reliability standard. In March 2020, the Panel published a short information paper and accompanying fact sheet about how the reliability standard operates.

Panel members

The Panel is comprised of members who represent a range of participants in the national electricity market, including consumer groups, generators, network businesses, retailers and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Panel members are selected on the basis of their direct interests in the reliability of electricity supply. Consideration is also given to balancing Panel membership representation according to geographical location and participating jurisdictions.

The AEMC appoints members to the Panel for a period of up to three years. Members are appointed in consultation with industry, end use consumers and consumer groups.

Members who are appointed to represent ‘Registered Participants’ must be agreed to by at least one third of the category of Registered Participant they represent (for example, generator, market customer, network service provider).

The National Electricity Rules require that the Panel is comprised of the following membership:

  • An AEMC Commissioner (appointed for three years);
  • The Chief Executive Officer or delegate of the Australian Energy Market Operator ;
  • Four members that represent Registered Participants including:
    • Generators;
    • Market Customers;
    • Transmission Network Service Providers (TNSP);
    • Distribution Network Service Providers (DNSP);
  • A person representing the interests of end use customers for electricity.

The AEMC has some discretion to appoint up to three members who may have expertise in areas that are not otherwise represented by other Panel members.

Current panel members

Mr Charles Popple (Chair)

Mr Popple, Commissioner at the AEMC, has spent more than four decades in the energy network sector. In the 1990s he played a significant role in the development of the National Electricity Market including reform of the network sector and the implementation of transmission system planning and pricing arrangements. He has also held management roles with Victorian Power Exchange, VENCorp, SPI PowerNet and SP AusNet. As a consultant, his focus was on energy markets and regulatory arrangements, with a view to achieving a balance between security, environmental challenges, and competitive pricing and products for energy consumers. Charles has a Bachelor of Engineering from Monash University and a Master of Engineering Science in power system engineering from the University of Melbourne.

Trevor Armstrong

Trevor Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer of Ausgrid, is the distribution network service provider representative on the Panel. Mr Armstrong joined Ausgrid as a cadet engineer in 1986 and has spent the last 30 years working in various roles including Executive General Manager System Planning & Regulation, and Executive General Manager Transmission & System Operations. He was appointed to the role of Ausgrid’s Chief Operating Officer in 2012. Mr Armstrong has an Electrical Engineering Degree, is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Treasurer of CIGRE.

Stephen Clark

Mr Clark, Technical and Economic Lead – Project Marinus at TasNetworks, is the transmission network service provider representative on the Panel. Mr Clark is responsible for assessing the economic benefits of further interconnection between Tasmania and Victoria, as well as exploring the system performance issues associated with large amounts of inverter connected generation feeding an isolated power system.

Kathy Danaher

Ms Danaher, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director of Sun Metals, is a discretionary member of the Panel. She is responsible for wholesale electricity trading, hedging and transmission procurement for Sun Metals’ zinc refinery, one of the largest single site consumers of electricity in Queensland.  Ms Danaher holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Marine Biology, Bachelor of Business (Accounting), and is a Certified Practicing Accountant with CPA Australia.

Craig Memery

Craig Memery has represented energy users for the last decade, and now leads the PIAC’s Energy and Water Consumer Advocacy Program. The program promotes access to affordable, sustainable energy and water for NSW households, through improvements in policy, regulation and markets that benefit all energy users and targeted supporting measures for people facing hardship and disadvantage. Mr Memery is also a board member of the Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW and Chair of the Australian Energy Regulator’s Consumer Reference Group.

Chris Murphy

Mr Murphy, Strategic Advisor at Meridian Energy and General Manager – Energy Market Interfaces for Telstra, is a discretionary member of the Panel. In previous roles in the electricity industry he has been responsible for distribution revenue, system-wide load forecasting, tariff development and regulatory affairs.

Keith Robertson

Keith Robertson is the General Manager Regulatory Policy at Origin Energy. Mr Robertson is responsible for advocating for effective wholesale, retail and environmental market regulations at Origin Energy. He has over 20 years of experience in the energy sector and has held senior positions in strategy and development, energy trading and sales and marketing.

Ken Harper

Ken Harper is Group Manager - Operational Support at AEMO, responsible for operational forecasting, planning power system operations up to seven days ahead, congestion and grid modelling, and training of gas and electricity operators. He has more than 25 years’ experience in developing, analysing and operating energy trading operations, having worked at Marsden Jacob Associates, Alinta Energy, Delta Electricity, Snowy Hydro, Red Energy and EnergyAustralia.

Ken Woolley

Ken Woolley is the Executive Director Merchant Energy at Alinta Energy and a Director of Latrobe Valley Power. Mr Woolley is responsible for power generation asset management and operations, wholesale gas, electricity and renewable trading functions and power development at Alinta Energy. He has more than two decades of experience in the energy sector, including roles as Executive Director Power Generation at Alinta Energy and General Manager Power Development at AGL Energy. Mr Woolley holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Monash University and is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers.

John Titchen

Mr Titchen, Managing Director of Goldwind Australia, is a discretionary member of the Panel. Mr Titchen established Goldwind Australia in 2009 and has since overseen the development of Goldwind Australia’s portfolio of wind and solar generation. Mr Titchen has previously worked for the Electricity Commission of NSW, Pacific Power and Hydro Tasmania.

CURRENT MEMBERS

Member

Organisation

Market Segment

Term Expiry

Mr Charles Popple (Chair)

Chair and AEMC Commissioner

AEMC

Term expires 16 February 2023

Trevor Armstrong

Chief Operating Officer, Ausgrid

Distribution Network Service Providers

Term expires 31 December 2020

Stephen Clark Technical and Economic Lead – Project Marinus, TasNetworks Transmission Network Service Providers Term expires 17 December 2021

Kathy Danaher

Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director, Sun Metals

Discretionary

Term expires 31 August 2021

Craig Memery (from June 30 2020)

Project team leader – Energy + Water Consumer’s Advocacy Program, PIAC

End use customer of electricity

Term expires 30 June 2023

Chris Murphy

Strategic Advisor, Meridian Energy and General Manager - Energy Market Interfaces, Telstra

Discretionary

Term expires 31 December 2020

Keith Robertson

General Manager Regulatory Policy, Origin Energy Market customers Term expires 31 December 2022
Ken Harper Group Manager Operational Support, AEMO AEMO

N/A

Ken Woolley

Executive Director Merchant Energy, Alinta Energy Generators Term expires 30 May 2023

John Titchen

Managing Director, Goldwind Australia Discretionary Term expires 17 December 2021