In July 2016 the Australian Energy Market Commission initiated a power system review to guard against blackouts in the national electricity market.
The final report for the System Security Market Frameworks Review was released today along with a package of draft rules for public consultation on proposals to stabilise the grid in relation to frequency management and system strength. The draft rules address risks to energy security created by the power system’s changing generation technologies as more non-synchronous generators like wind and solar come in; and synchronous generators like coal retire.
What does this draft rule want to fix?
System strength is stronger or weaker in different places depending on the generation mix. It is a localised problem and is measured by the fault level at specific points in the network. More non-synchronous generation in a region makes the system weaker. The technical term for this weakness is a ‘low short-circuit ratio’. This draft rule would create new obligations for generators and networks that will maintain system strength.
Five rule requests are being considered concurrently with the security review.
Two draft determinations are being released with the review final report :
Managing the Rate of Change of Power System Frequency (SA) 27 June
Managing Power System Fault Level (SA) 27 June
Two rule requests were combined into one project Emergency frequency control schemes (SA) with new rules made 30 March 2017 about AEMO managing risks of emergencies.
Fifth request Inertia Ancillary Services Market (AGL) was addressed by the review’s directions paper which foreshadowed development of a market-sourcing mechanism for inertia. (Work underway and continuing)