Rule Change: Completed
On 21 October 2021, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) made a final decision to improve the transparency of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO’s) processes and decisions related to registrations, classification, and exemption. The Commission's also made a final decision to retain the current threshold for classifying generating units as scheduled or semi-scheduled
While the Commission agrees that the changing generation mix is creating challenges for AEMO’s efficient management of the power system, the Commission’s final determination is to make no rule regarding the scheduling threshold. This is because
- there is not sufficient evidence that generators sized between 5 and 30MW are causing inaccuracies in forecasting or scheduling
- AEMO has the power to impose central dispatch obligations on non-scheduled generators if necessary
- based on advice from GHD, the cost of scheduling for smaller generators would be significant
- the ESB's "scheduled-lite" work program will deal with the challenge of increasing participation from participants that are currently non-scheduled in a more holistic way.
The Commission recognises that market trends might lead to smaller scale assets causing operational issues in the dispatch and forecasting process in the future. The ESB's Post 2025 market design 'scheduled lite' work program is way address the issues raised by the AEC and provide AEMO with greater visibility of non-scheduled resources, including generators between 5MW and 30MW nameplate capacity.
Registration, classification and exemption process
The Commission’s more preferable final rule addresses concerns raised by both rule change proponents and stakeholders. In summary the final rules:
- requires AEMO to publish and maintain a registration information resource and guideline regarding the processes for registration, classification and exemption under Chapter 2 of the National Electricity Rules, and the matters AEMO may or will take into account when assessing such applications.
- require AEMO to consult on changes to the registration information resource and guideline (unless they are minor or administrative) that relate to exemptions from the requirement to register as a generator, the classification of generating units as non-scheduled and the information to be contained in energy conversion models.
- clarify the connection process and application of performance standards for generators between 5MW and 30MW
- narrows the grounds upon which a generator can be exempt from scheduling obligations
- clarify that groups of generating units behind a common connection point must be less than 30MW to be classified as non-scheduled for system security reasons.
The rule change process
On 8 October 2021, the Commission released a consultation paper on the rule change requests. The Commission received 23 submissions from stakeholders.
On 24 June 2021, the Commission made a draft decision not to require generators sized between 5 and 30MW to be scheduled. However, it also made a draft rule to increase the transparency of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) registration, classification and exemption processes. The Commission received 14 submissions to the draft determination.
On 21 August 2021, the AEMC extended the date of the final determination to 21 October 2021 to consider new information provided by AEMO in its submission to the draft determination.
Rule change request
The AEC's rule change request proposed to:
- Reduce the threshold for classifying generators as non-scheduled from 30MW nameplate capacity to 5MW, making the default classifications for generators above 5MW scheduled (or semi-scheduled).
- Narrow the grounds upon which generators can be exempt from scheduling obligations.
- Require AEMO to publish its reasons for exempting a person from the requirement to register as a generator, or for classifying a generating unit as non-scheduled.
Mr Damien Vermeer proposed to amend the NER to minimise uncertainty in the registration and connection process for embedded generators.
- Mr Vermeer proposed a conditional exemption from registration for embedded generators with a nameplate capacity between 5-30MW.