The AEMC today made a draft rule requiring generators and network businesses to provide the Australian Energy Market Operator, AEMO, with more detailed models of generation systems and other equipment.

More comprehensive details about operating capability and modelling data can help AEMO in managing a power system with reduced system strength.

The exit of large thermal synchronous generation, together with an increasing proportion of renewable generation like wind and solar, has contributed to a decrease in system strength in some areas of the power system. System strength relates to the size of the change in voltage for a change to the load or generation at a connection point.

A reduction in system strength in certain areas of the network may mean that generators are no longer able to meet technical standards and may be unable to remain connected to the system at certain times. It may also lead to voltage instability and a reduction in the effectiveness of the protection systems used by network businesses, generators and large customers. If not addressed, these effects could lead to an unstable system and potential major supply interruptions.

Reduced system strength requires more granular data to better predict how the system will respond to changed conditions or events, for example a lightning strike on a generator.

In addition to giving AEMO more detailed information to help manage system strength issues, the draft rule proposes to:

  • make modelling data available to new connecting generators in certain circumstances. This would enable new generators to better assess any impact they may have on system strength and hence undertake measures to meet the generator performance standards required by AEMO.
  • give network businesses access to modelling data in certain situations, for example when the data would help determine more accurately if a generator needs to be constrained off to avoid voltage issues and overloading power lines.

Under the draft rule, AEMO would develop guidelines setting out the technical and operational details of the modelling data and the specific circumstances when that data is required.

The draft rule also sets out principles that AEMO must consider when developing the guidelines, including the costs faced by participants in providing modelling data and the protection of confidential information.

The AEMC invites submissions on the draft determination by 1 August 2017.

Media: Prudence Anderson, Communications Director, 0404 821 935 or DL (02) 8296 7817.