Weather-reliant generators such as large scale solar and wind farms would be prevented from turning down or off without informing the market operator under a draft rule to boost system security. 

The Australian Energy Market Commission invites submissions on the draft determination and draft rule by 14 January 2021.

The draft rule is in response to a rule change was proposed by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and developed following a request from the then 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 Commission’s draft determination will address risks to system security and market efficiency from semi-scheduled generators turning down or off without informing the market operator by requiring them to meet a dispatch target, or cap, subject to variations in their natural resource (such as the sun or wind). 

The Commission’s rule change has the effect of requiring semi-scheduled generators to follow their available resource except during semi-dispatch interval, when output should be limited to the cap specified by AEMO.

This AER’s rule change request is being progressed using the fast track rule change process which allows the AEMC to proceed directly to publishing a draft determination and draft rule. The AEMC decided to fast track this rule change in recognition of the significant and extensive consultation by the AER in developing the rule change request. 

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

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