AEMO: Close collaboration needed to keep the lights on

Immediate targeted actions, close collaboration and long-term planning is required to mitigate the heightened risk of unserved energy (USE) over the next decade in the National Electricity Market (NEM), according to the latest analysis from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

Consistent with previous findings, AEMO’s 2018 Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) has continued to highlight the need for both short-term and longer term strategic planning and resource investment necessary to manage the power system during peak summer periods.

“AEMO has commenced work to prepare the power system for the summer ahead, which includes ensuring we have the resources available to manage any range of potential scenarios, such as an extreme heatwave, bushfires, storms, and/or mechanical failures,” AEMO managing director and CEO Audrey Zibelman said.

“Close collaboration with industry in the lead-up and throughout summer will be key to reducing the risks of energy supply shortfalls.

“As with last year, we have a clear plan in place and will take all the appropriate actions to ensure the industry is ready to meet the demands of the upcoming summer.

“Our most recent summer illustrated that considered planning and collaboration across governments and industry was crucial to ensuring the power system had the required resources to meet extreme peaks in demand.”

The 2018 ESOO projects without these actions, there would be a risk of involuntary load shedding during summer peak periods in Victoria from this summer, in New South Wales from 2023-24 and in South Australia from 2024-25.

The 2018 ESOO takes into account refinements in forecasting by incorporating analysis from real-time operations, the latest weather forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology, and stakeholder feedback.

The projected risk is driven partly by the reduced reliability of ageing generators observed in recent years.