Regulator update on Black System Event compliance

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has provided an update on the implementation of recommendations identified in its December 2018 Black System Event Compliance Report into the infamous blackout event in South Australia in 2016.

In the Report, the AER identified 13 recommendations and remedial actions to improve processes and the overall National Electricity Rules framework in key areas including:

  • implementing more rigorous weather monitoring processes
  • standardising notifications for market participants during abnormal weather conditions
  • more broadly reviewing the criteria under which weather events are classified
  • improving AEMO operator training, and
  • clarifying roles and responsibilities of the market operator and network service providers regarding system restoration.

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All but one of the recommendations and remedial actions outlined in the Report have now been implemented. While one recommendation has not yet been implemented by AEMO, it will further consider this recommendation as part of actions raising from the AEMC’s black system event review report. Each of the recommendations and remedial actions and their status are set out in detail in the Recommendations Outcomes Factsheet.

The AER’s December 2018 Black System Event Compliance Report related to the circumstances prior to the blackout, system restoration, and the market suspension period. The AER’s review of the events immediately preceding the state-wide blackout was subject to a separate investigation and some related issues are now before the Court.