Market Review: Open

Overview

The Commission is investigating the application of the system strength frameworks to date to determine whether any improvements could be made to more effectively and efficiently address system strength issues in the NEM.
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The Commission is investigating the application of the system strength frameworks to date to determine whether any improvements could be made to more effectively and efficiently address system strength issues in the NEM.  

This investigation is part of the AEMC’s broader system security work program to a robust and resilient power system for now and the future. 

The Commission is considering whether improvements could be made to: 

  • more effectively identify and address low levels of system strength as they arise in NEM regions 
  • increase the transparency and efficiency for remediating the impact of new connecting generators 
  • allow for the provision of increased levels of system strength to enable greater output from lower cost generation sources 

The Commission intends to publish a paper exploring these issues in the coming months. 

This investigation follows on from the Investigation into intervention mechanisms and system strength in the NEM for which a final report was published in July 2019. The investigation into intervention mechanisms was initiated by the Commission in light of concerns for the declining levels of system strength in the NEM and the increased use of interventions in the market by AEMO due to low levels of system strength. 

Background 

In September 2017 the Commission made the Managing power system fault levels final rule that established two system strength frameworks: 

  1. The minimum system strength framework – which obligates transmission network service providers (TNSPs) to procure system strength services needed to provide the levels determined by AEMO if AEMO has declared a shortfall. 
  2. The ‘do no harm’ framework – which requires AEMO to develop system strength impact assessment guidelines that allow TNSPs and generators to assess the impact of a new generator connection on system strength. From this, the new connecting generator is obligated to do no harm to the security of the power system in relation to system strength. As such, if the new connecting generator has a negative impact on the fault level (a measure of the level of system strength in that area) then that generator must remediate that impact. 

This investigation is looking at whether these frameworks can be improved and more closely linked such that the provision of system strength is more efficient and effective. 

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Documentation