Rule Change: Completed

Overview

On 2 April 2015, the AEMC made new rules to improve the frameworks for system restart ancillary services (SRAS, or restart services) in the National Electricity Market. Restart services allow electricity supply to be restored following a large-scale blackout of the entire power system. These blackouts can have significant economic and social impacts, so it is important there are enough restart services available to quickly restore power supply.
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<p>
On 2 April 2015, the AEMC made new rules to improve the frameworks for system restart ancillary services (SRAS, or restart services) in the National Electricity Market.</p>
<p>
Restart services allow electricity supply to be restored following a large-scale blackout of the entire power system. These blackouts can have significant economic and social impacts, so it is important there are enough restart services available to quickly restore power supply.</p>
<p>
The Commission&rsquo;s changes will improve the current SRAS frameworks by:</p>
<ul>
<li>
clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the Reliability Panel within the SRAS frameworks;</li>
<li>
clarifying that the purpose of SRAS is to allow the independent restoration of each subnetwork;</li>
<li>
expanding the range of potential restart services; and</li>
<li>
recovering SRAS costs on the basis of the regional benefits they provide.</li>
</ul>
<p>
The Commission&rsquo;s final rule is intended to provide AEMO with sufficient flexibility to seek out the lowest cost restart services while maintaining an appropriate degree of accountability and transparency in the procurement process.</p>
<p>
These changes will benefit consumers by helping to maintain the reliable supply of electricity at an efficient price.</p>
<p>
<strong>Background</strong></p>
<p>
This rule change combines two proposals received from:</p>
<ul>
<li>
The National Generators Forum, AGL, Alinta Energy, Energy Brix, GDF Suez, Intergen, Origin Energy (the Group of Generators), received 11 November 2013 ; and</li>
<li>
AEMO, received 20 December 2013.</li>
</ul>
<p>
As there was a degree of overlap between these two proposals, the Commission decided to consolidate them into a single rule change request under section 93(1) of the National Electricity Law (NEL).</p>
<p>
On 27 March 2013, the AEMC commenced consultation on this consolidated SRAS rule change.&nbsp; At that time, the Commission also extended the time for completion of the draft determination under section 107 of the national electricity law by a period of six weeks, to reflect the complexity and number of issues identified in the rule change.</p>
<p>
On 28 August 2014, the Commission decided to further extend the period of time for the making of a draft determination under section 107 of the National Electricity Law. The Commission considered that this extension was necessary due to the complexity of issues addressed in the rule change. The Commission therefore extended the period of time for publication of the draft determination to 18 December 2014.</p>
<p>
The Commission received 14 submissions on the draft rule determination. Having regard to issues raised by stakeholders, the Commission made a more preferable rule that differs from the draft rule in a number of ways.&nbsp;</p>

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