The AEMC’s Reliability Panel has started its system restart standard review, considering how new technologies can help restore the grid after major supply disruptions or black system events 

The Panel has published a consultation paper for its review of the system restart standard (Standard) today.  

The Standard sets out requirements for the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) procurement of system restart ancillary services (SRAS).  SRAS are services that AEMO procures to help re-energise parts of the power system affected by a major supply disruption or black system event. Major supply disruptions and black system events are rare but not impossible events. The most recent black system event was in South Australia in September 2016. Prior to that event, two more have occurred in; northern Queensland in 2009; and New South Wales in 1964.

SRAS are provided by facilities that can either self-start without drawing power from the network or can support the stable restoration of the power system following its initial re-energisation. Once an SRAS provider has restarted its own plant, it provides energy to restart other generators and commence the processes required to restore the power system. This process is then carefully managed by AEMO, networks and other generators so that power is restored to customers as quickly as possible.

The consultation paper seeks stakeholder feedback on the Panel’s approach to amending the Standard to account for changes made in the AEMC’s recent system restart services, standards and testing rule.  These changes allow new technologies to provide SRAS and introduce a new type of SRAS to support the stable restoration of the power system following a black system event or major supply disruption.  Stakeholder views are sought on removing barriers to AEMO's procurement of restoration support services and SRAS from non-traditional providers of black start capability in the Standard’s qualitative guidance.

In addition to the changes made under the SRAS rule, the consultation paper also seeks stakeholder feedback on the Panel’s approach to amending the Standard to allow AEMO to procure SRAS for a single Queensland region. AEMO is currently considering whether to make changes to the existing electrical sub-network boundaries for Queensland. Should AEMO make a final determination to combine the two Queensland sub-networks, amendments to the Standard will be required to guide AEMO's procurement of SRAS for a single Queensland sub-network in its next procurement round in early 2021.   

The Panel invites written submissions on this consultation paper from interested parties by no later than 18 September 2020.

Media: Kellie Bisset, Media and Content Manager, 0438 490 041 or (02) 8296 7813