The AEMC has today taken the pragmatic approach of clarifying the applicability of the National Electricity Rules (NER) during market suspension through a final determination rather than a rule change. 

The determination states that NER continue to apply during a market suspension, such as a Black System Event (BSE), unless otherwise provided for in the rules.

On 26 May 2020, the COAG Energy Council proposed a rule change seeking clarity about the status of the NER during a market suspension. The request also aimed to provide AEMO with appropriate flexibility to prioritise system security during such events.  

In its consideration of the request, the Commission observed that circumstances have materially changed since the rule change was requested. These changes include AEMO implementing the recommendations made by the Australian Energy Regulator in its black system compliance report. 

We noted there was unanimous stakeholder support – including from the AER and AEMO - for the draft determination not to make a rule change but instead to clarify the matter in a final determination.