The Australian Energy Market Commission is seeking feedback on a proposed framework to manage emerging risks to the power system caused by more frequent and severe weather events and a transitioning energy system.

For the past few decades, the main challenge to power system security has been keeping the power system going when a single piece of equipment fails, like a power plant suddenly going offline.

However, as the power plants on our grid change and weather events become more intense and frequent, ‘indistinct’ events are emerging as a risk to the grid. 

Indistinct events are when the grid is severely affected by situations like a major storm system, a firestorm, or cyberattack. These events may increase the risk of failure for many generators or transmission lines, but it is very hard to predict exactly how they might affect the grid. Changes in the generation mix from synchronous to inverter-based technology can also impact the power system’s susceptibility to indistinct events.

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Energy Council submitted a request to amend the National Electricity Rules in order to establish ta framework to help the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) better prepare for and manage indistinct events. 

The proposed rule is designed to benefit consumers by helping keep the lights on in the face of new threats to the power system. It will help the Australian Energy Market Operator adequately plan and respond to indistinct events, while ensuring that they do so at least cost to consumers.

Submissions on the consultation paper close on 11 February 2021. You can find the proposed rule, requested by the former COAG Energy Council, and the Commission’s consultation paper, on the AEMC website

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