The Australian Energy Market Commission has approved the fast tracking of a proposed rule change to boost system security by preventing weather-reliant generators such as large scale solar and wind farms from turning down or off without informing the market operator.

The rule change was proposed by the Australian Energy Regulator. 
A draft determination on the AER’s requested changes will be published on 19 November 2020. 

The AER’s rule change was developed following a request from the former Council of Australian Governments Energy Council to develop rule changes for semi scheduled generators to improve their functioning within the National Electricity Market (NEM). 

Semi scheduled generators include wind and solar plants that are reliant on weather conditions to operate. The amount of semi scheduled generation has risen rapidly in recent years. It now accounts for a sizeable share of generating capacity in the NEM and is forecast to rise much further still.  

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is proposing changes to the rules to boost system security by preventing semi scheduled generators from turning down or off without the knowledge or consent of the market operator. 

The AER consulted with stakeholders to develop the proposed rule change before prior to submitting it to the AEMC. The AEMC uses the tools at its disposal to work faster on rule-making where this is appropriate and is mindful of avoiding duplication between the market bodies. Recognising the AER’s engagement with stakeholders, the AEMC has decided to fast track the AER’s rule change request in recognition of the AER’s engagement with stakeholders.

The National Electricity Rules allow the AEMC to fast track a rule change submitted by another electricity market body when the market body has consulted with the public on the nature and content of the request before making that request. 

The fast track rule making process allows the AEMC to proceed directly to publishing a draft determination after which stakeholders will have further opportunity to provide feedback on the rule change. This is the seventh occasion on which the AEMC has decided to fast track a rule change. 

Media: Kellie Bisset, Media and Content Manager, 0438 490 041