The Australian Energy Market Commission’s Reliability Panel has published a final determination on amendments to a standard that helps re-energise the power system after major supply disruptions or black system events.

The determination accounts for changes made in the AEMC’s recent rule that allows new technologies to provide system restart ancillary services (SRAS). These services are procured by the Australian Energy Market Operator to help restore power to the system after major supply disruptions.

The System Restart Standard sets out requirements for AEMO’s procurement of SRAS.  Major supply disruptions and black system events are rare but not impossible events. The most recent black system event was in South Australia in September 2016. Prior to that event, two more have occurred: in northern Queensland in 2009 and New South Wales in 1964.

SRAS are provided by facilities that can either self-start without drawing power from the network or can support the stable restoration of the power system following its initial re-energisation. Once an SRAS provider has restarted its own plant, it provides energy to restart other generators and commence the processes required to restore the power system. This process is then carefully managed by AEMO, networks and other generators so that power is restored to customers as quickly as possible.

The Panel’s final determination amends the Standard’s qualitative guidance to account for changes made in the AEMC’s recent system restart services, standards and testing rule, which was published on April 2. These changes are important to managing system security concerns and expanded the type of  technologies that can provide SRAS and introduce a new type of SRAS to support the stable restoration of the power system following a black system event or major supply disruption.  

In its final determination, the Panel has identified a number of amendments to remove language that is inappropriate for, or represents a barrier to, AEMO’s procurement of SRAS from these new services or from these new technologies.

Draft determination on procuring system restart services in Queensland

In addition to the changes made under the SRAS rule, the Panel has published a draft determination on Standard targets to allow AEMO to procure SRAS for a single Queensland region.  This draft determination follows a decision by AEMO to combine the existing North and South Queensland sub-networks into a single Queensland sub-network for SRAS procurement purposes. The Panel’s draft determination includes a locational requirement for AEMO to procure SRAS north of Bundaberg in addition to targets for the speed, level, and reliability of restoration in Queensland as a whole. The Panel’s amendments to the Standard’s targets will guide AEMO's procurement of SRAS for a single Queensland sub-network in its next procurement round in early 2021. 

The Panel invites written submissions on the Panel’s draft determination on Standard settings for a combined Queensland subnetwork by no later than 26 November 2020.

Media: Kellie Bisset, Media and Content Manager, 0438 490 041; (02) 8296 7813