ENA calls for rules change

The Energy Networks Association (ENA) has supported an overhaul of rules for power system security to reflect the changing mix of carbonised and renewable energy.

In a submission to the System Security Market Frameworks Review currently being undertaken by the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), the ENA said new rules were needed to create a ‘synchronous’ generation and distribution system.

“Today’s electricity rules are from another time, when the system could rely on the built-in benefits of big heavy generator turbines with ‘spinning mass’,” ENA CEO John Bradley said.

“As the generation mix changes, we need to set standards for the minimum levels of inertia and system strength which must be maintained on the power system to protect customers and ensure system stability.”

Mr Bradley said power system stability required on managing voltage, frequency and the ability of the system to withstand changes.

“The first step is to define what services are needed for system stability and security, and then to ensure the role of the market operator, transmission networks and generators are crystal clear,” he said.

“The rules need to clarify responsibilities for securing fast frequency responses which stabilise the system during times of system disturbance, such as faults, and avoid unnecessary impacts on customers.”

Energy transmission networks already work closely with the AEMO in planning and managing networks, and would welcome responsibility for support services to maintain power system stability efficiently, according to Mr Bradley.