The AEMC has started consultation on a rule change request from AEMO to clarify that any customer’s load could be used to provide frequency control services.

This follows the AEMC’s rule made in November 2016 to create a new type of market participant who can do deals with energy users and offer their load as demand response services to help AEMO control frequency on the electricity system.

To date, frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) have been generally provided by generators and retailers. However, the growth in distributed generation and technological innovation have opened opportunities for new ways to provide the FCAS needed for a secure power system. Additional competition from a more diverse group of suppliers of FCAS services can lead to more efficient FCAS prices.

AEMO is currently developing systems and procedures to implement the new rule. As part of this process, AEMO is seeking to classify any load wanting to provide FCAS services as ‘ancillary service’ load, as long as AEMO’s technical requirements are met. The current definition of market load would technically exclude customers who are served by their local retailer as such customer load is not considered to be market load under the National Electricity Rules.

The AEMC invites submissions on the consultation paper by 25 July 2017.

The Commission considers that the rule change request should follow the expedited rule making process under s96 of the National Electricity Law (NEL), subject to an assessment of any written request not to do so.  The expedited process provides for one round of consultation with a final determination due within 6 weeks of initiation. Any written objections to the expedited process are due by 11 July 2017.

Media: Prudence Anderson, Communications Director, 0404 821 935 or DL (02) 8296 7817.

What are Frequency Control Ancillary Services?

Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) are necessary for maintaining a secure power system. These services are procured from market participants to help keep power demand and supply continuously balanced. When the frequency is too low, it is increased by FCAS services, which either increase generation or decrease demand. When the frequency is too high, it is reduced by FCAS services which lower generation. Demand response can help re-balance supply and demand, as it can help to maintain the frequency of the power system.