The next review of Reliability Standard and Settings (RSS) is on track following the release of updated guidelines for the process, the AEMC Reliability Panel announced today. The National Electricity Rules (NER) require an RSS review every four years with the next due by April 2022.

The guidelines released today establish the principles and assumptions the Panel will apply to its assessment framework and approaches. An important step in each review is to consult with stakeholders to check the adequacy of the guidelines against changes that have occurred since they were last applied.

The standard is a measure of the targeted level of reliability in Australia’s national electricity market (NEM). The standard must balance the value consumers place on supply with the overall power system costs associated with achieving a certain level of reliability. The reliability settings are set to provide investment sufficient to achieve the reliability standard, while also limiting exposure to prices that could threaten the financial viability of a prudent market participant.

Some parts of this RSS review’s guidelines have now been updated. In particular, the five reliability components in the previous guidelines that had been ‘closed’ to adjustment will now be open for consideration in the upcoming review. This change allows the Panel the widest possible consideration of reliability standards and settings, necessary in such a rapidly changing power system. 

The updated guidelines now include: 

  • The assessment principles to guide determination of the standard and settings. These largely mirror principles from the 2016 guidelines
  • The assessment approach, including the NER requirements and other criteria. The previously ‘closed’ reliability components can now be considered but would only be changed if they meet the assessment criteria and then pass through a rule change request
  • The principles underpinning any modelling the Panel uses in each review, noting that the prescriptive inputs for modelling have been removed from the guidelines.

The Panel will commence the full RSS review shortly, with an issues paper being released, beginning the consultation process with the energy sector. 

The Panel noted the upcoming RSS review is timely given the parallel work of the Energy Security Board (ESB) in its post-2025 market design reforms. The Panel continues to engage with the ESB as they both work for a holistic outcome for the overall reliability framework.

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