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AEMC launches review of system reliability

AEMC has launched its review of system reliability in the National Electricity Market by publishing an issues paper on 22nd August.

System reliability is the process of ensuring that sufficient generation is available to meet the demand on the system at any time of the day. It also captures the technical aspects of generation such as controllability of a generator’s output which is essential if real time fluctuations in demand are to be met.

The review is one of several reviews that have been prompted by the total and partial system blackouts that have been experienced in South Australia over the past 12 months and also the very large number of low reserve circumstances that have occurred over the same period. Other reviews include the Finkel review which was recently released proposing the adoption of a Clean Energy Target to encourage low emissions generation.

Focussing on investment decisions involving controllable generators and loads, the AEMC review will consider what changes to the current rules surrounding system reliability are necessary to ensure that sufficient controllable plant is available to deliver system reliability. In particular the review will consider:

  • How existing generation can be made more controllable.
  • How demand management and battery storage can be used to provide more flexibility on the system.
  • What mechanisms could be used to ensure adequate investment in controllable generation.

The results of this review could provide better opportunity for customers capable of controlling their level of demand on a very short term timeframe (i.e. within hours or minutes, or possibly even seconds) to sell this as a service to the market and also provide the regulatory framework whereby the market would purchase these services for the benefit of all users of the electricity system.

The AEMC is expected to publish its first progress report in December.

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