The Australian Energy Market Commission is extending the draft decision on the integrating energy storage rule change after the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) sought more time to allow us to work jointly on complex issues.

AEMO has written to us asking for extra time so they can do further work, including reviewing the impact of the proposed rule change on their systems. 

This includes dealing with the more complex issues that have arisen around the implementation of hybrid systems. Hybrid facilities may have a group of assets (such as batteries and a wind farm) behind a single connection point to the national electricity market. Hybrids can both consume electricity and export it to the grid. Hybrid facilities will be an important part of the future market as a way for generators to firm up variable renewable energy like solar and wind. This is a new business model and is different to aggregators of households with solar panels and batteries. 

AEMO’s letter states, “we consider it important that together we design a framework that eliminates as much as possible cost and complexity in the current arrangements and creates a simple and flexible framework and design for future reform”.

The Commission has agreed to extend the time and looks forward to working collaboratively with AEMO to explore these complexities.

We believe it is preferable to do this work now and incorporate it into the draft determination, rather than conducting it later. This means the  draft determination will now be released by 29 July 2021. 

About the rule change

AEMO made an original rule change request that would see storage systems, such as batteries and hybrid facilities better recognised in the national electricity rules. 

The Commission has been working on a modified proposal aimed at integrating storage and hybrid systems in a flexible way that works across all technologies.

This work is being considered alongside the Energy Security Board’s (ESB) work for a post 2025 market redesign and would help pave the way for a two-sided market where all types of energy users actively buy and sell power. 

Consultation to date

The Commission began consultations on AEMO’s rule change request in August. We considered 38 submissions during the first consultation round. 

Following feedback and given the link to the ESB work, we engaged further with stakeholders on alternative solutions that would better align with the priority reforms of the ESB. 

This consultation included releasing an options paper on 17 December 2020, followed by a briefing, Q&A session and considering 31 further submissions in response.

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