Collaboration key in management of generator rule change

solar power, AEMO, Brigalow

Ahead of the rule change for generator technical performance coming into effect on February 1, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) says there was a concerted effort and collaboration within the industry to assist many new generation projects already in advanced stages of the connection application process.

One of AEMO’s functions as the system operator is to work with electricity network owners and market participants to establish the correct level of technical performance proposed for new generating facilities. These standards ensure system security is maintained as our power system continues to change and evolve, driven by new technologies, consumer engagement, and ageing infrastructure.

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In response to these changes, one of the recent National Electricity Market (NEM) initiatives to help the power system adapt was to establish new rules for generator technical performance, allowing AEMO to manage the security of the electricity supply more effectively.

The new performance standards are part of the National Electricity Rules that AEMO, network owners and market participants use to manage the connection of new generators to the NEM – the connection process is available here, and a comprehensive guide to how this assessment process is applied here.

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The transition period ahead of this rule change ended on February 1, and there were nearly 50 projects, including major renewable energy initiatives, across the NEM (with a volume of approximately 4.2GW in total) that were able to finalise an agreed Generator Performance Standard (GPS) ahead of the transition period ending. If a performance standard had not been agreed on time, the transition to the new rules could have had major implications for many of these investments.

AEMO says it was in continuous contact with providers and developers alike during the transition, and all stakeholders worked tirelessly to avoid unnecessary project delays. The management of the rules change was a notable success for the vast energy transition currently being experienced across the NEM, and a testament it says, of AEMO’s proactive support for Australia’s renewable energy integration.