System Security work program 

The electricity industry in Australia is undergoing a fundamental transformation. The last decade has seen a rapid rise in the penetration of new generation technologies, such as wind farms and rooftop solar. In the past, these technologies accounted for only a small fraction of total electricity supply. Now they are a critical part of our power system, and their significance is continuing to grow.

In July 2016 the AEMC initiated a review into system security.

We have also received a number of rule change requests on aspects of power system security that will be considered concurrently and in coordination with the review.

We are working with our stakeholders and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to develop a comprehensive set of potential solutions that take into consideration issues raised by consultation across the system security work program.

New technologies have technical characteristics that differ from the plant they are replacing. The impact of non-synchronous generation, including renewables, on how the system is maintained in a secure state will be an important focus in the coming years.

The AEMC has published a directions paper on the System Security Market Frameworks Review. The directions paper presents the Commission's proposed approach to addressing the two key system security issues identified in its interim report published in December 2016: the management of frequency and of system strength in a power system with reduced levels of synchronous generation.

Download directions paper

Download information sheet

Emergency frequency control schemes protect the power system following a major disturbance, such as the failure of a large generator. These schemes shed load or generation in a controlled and coordinated manner in order to prevent major blackouts. They are essential to maintaining a secure and reliable supply of electricity for consumers.

The South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy submitted two rule changes that were designed to enhance the frameworks for emergency frequency control schemes in the National Electricity Market. As these two rule change requests relate to similar matters, the AEMC decided to consolidate them under s.93(1) of the National Electricity Law.

The Commission has published a draft determination and a draft rule to give effect to the consolidated rule change request.The draft rule includes:

  • an enhanced emergency frequency control scheme framework to allow for the efficient use of all available technological solutions to limit the consequences of emergency frequency events, including a formalised arrangement for the management of over-frequency events.
  • a new classification of contingency event, the protected event, that in the circumstances defined by such an event, will allow power system security to be managed by using a combination of ex-ante solutions, as well as load shedding.

Download draft determination

Download information sheet

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