The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is investigating options to improve the process for connecting new generation and storage to the grid, to help speed up the transformation needed for a cleaner, affordable energy future.  

In a consultation paper published today, the AEMC is seeking feedback on the ‘R1’ process that generators and large-scale storage providers are required to complete to achieve registration and connection to the national electricity market. 

As Australia transitions to net zero, an unprecedented number of variable renewable energy source and storage assets, including wind and solar farms and battery technology projects are entering the market, with more than 500 in a queue to be registered. 

During the R1 process, project proponents are required to submit detailed technical design information and modelling to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and network service providers for review. 

The consultation paper explores a proposal from the Clean Energy Council (CEC) seeking greater clarity in the electricity rules, on the requirements, process steps and responsibilities associated with assessing and approving the registration of new generation and storage projects. 

The CEC’s proposal suggests that clearer obligations for AEMO, network service providers and greater flexibility around technical design requirements, would help to reduce project delays and, potentially reduce unexpected upfront costs to project proponents. 

With renewable and battery technology expected to play a significant role in the transition, improvements to the R1 process may also help to accelerate the integration of new projects into the system, providing greater certainty to businesses and investors and reducing costs to customers.   

The AEMC is now exploring whether more clearly defined obligations on AEMO and network service providers could give generators increased certainty around the duration of the approvals process as well as greater flexibility to manage minor issues and review decisions.   

It will also investigate the power system security and stability risks AEMO and network service providers aim to manage through the R1 process, along with the scale of the issues arising from its delays.  

The AEMC is seeking stakeholder feedback on whether this rule change request would be likely to work in practice and achieve the intended results, as well as alternative approaches which may be more effective.  

Written submissions on the consultation paper are being accepted until Thursday 28 September 2023.  

For more information, visit the project page.  

Media: Nicole Stokes, 0401 826 522,