Market Review: Completed
The Reliability Panel’s Annual market performance review provides observations and commentary on the security, reliability and safety of the national electricity market. It compiles information collected from a number of sources including the Australian Energy Market Operator, the Australian Energy Regulator, jurisdictional regulators and market participants.
Among other things, the annual market performance review may assist governments, policy makers and market institutions to monitor the performance of the power system, and to identify the likely need for improvements to the various measures available for delivering security, reliability and safety.
The Reliability Panel undertakes this review each financial year in accordance with the National Electricity Rules and terms of reference from the AEMC.
Key findings of 2018 review
The Reliability Panel has released its report that sets out the findings of the Panel's annual review of market performance, for the period 2017/18.
Maintenance of power system security continues to be a key challenge for the national electricity market.
- In the period 2017/18, the frequency performance of the system has continued to degrade. Some elements of the frequency operating standard were not met in both the mainland and in Tasmania during 2017/18.
- To maintain sufficient levels of system strength (a property of the power system that resists changes in voltages in response to a change in loading conditions) in South Australia, AEMO has been required to use a number of market interventions, including constraining off asynchronous generation like wind and solar generators, and issuing directions to operate synchronous generators, like gas and diesel generators. These system strength interventions come at a significant cost to consumers.
- Another security issue that arose during the reporting period is voltage control in South Australia and Victoria. AEMO is currently managing over voltages with short term manual de-energisation of high voltage transmission lines, combined with directions to generators. These manual line switching interventions can come at a cost to consumers, by impacting on the ability of the transmission system to effectively transport energy within and between regions.
Over the 2017/18 period, the reliability of electricity supply continued to be maintained with no unserved energy over the period. However, this was in part due to the activation of the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) on two occasions to maintain the power system in a reliable operating state. Prior to 2017/18, the RERT had only been procured three times and had never been activated.
The Panel is not aware of any incidents where AEMO's management of power system security has resulted in a safety issue with respect to maintaining the system within relevant standards and technical limits.
In the context of these challenges, the Panel acknowledges the significant body of work completed and underway that is currently considering how to maintain the ongoing security and reliability of the national electricity market.
Given the trends indicated, the Panel considers it is imperative that the various work programs being progressed by the market bodies continue. This includes AEMO’s forward work program, which involves technical consideration of the various system needs, and the AEMC’s work program, which includes consideration of how the market can be incentivised to meet those needs.
The Panel intends to monitor and review how these work programs progress over the coming year with a view to recommending in the 2019 Annual market performance review whether any further work remains to be done or if there are key issues that need to be addressed.