The AEMC today extended the period of time for making a draft determination on the Generator technical performance standards rule change by three months, to 10 April 2018, and extended the period of time for making a final determination by two weeks to 31 July 2018.
This rule change request from AEMO proposes to tighten the technical performance standards for generators seeking to connect to the national electricity market, and the process for negotiating those standards. The rule change request raises a large number of issues that are complex and interrelated. Many of the proposed changes to access standards for generators connecting to the power system have significant implications for investment decisions and operational costs of connecting generators, as well as significant long term implications for the security of the power system. Additional stakeholder consultation will be undertaken to help address these matters.
In the short term, power system security will not be affected by this extension. Under existing arrangements, AEMO can refuse to approve the connection of generators proposing levels of performance below the automatic access standards if it considers this would adversely affect power system security or the quality of supply for other network users. In addition, AEMO has a range of operational tools available to it to manage the power system in a secure state, such as the ability to apply constraints to the power system and issue directions to market participants, including generators.
Generators must have certain technical capabilities to help AEMO maintain the power system in a secure and safe operating state, even when there are disruptions. The minimum technical capabilities that generators must meet before they can connect, such as voltage and power control and disturbance ride through, are set out in the National Electricity Rules.
AEMO considers that tighter generator technical standards are needed to help keep the system secure in the future as the changing generation mix makes the system weaker in some locations.
AEMO also proposes changes to the negotiating framework in the rules. The framework sets out the process for generators to negotiate with network businesses (and AEMO where required) to agree performance standards, where the generator proposes to meet the minimum standard but would fall below the standard for automatic access to connect.
This rule change relates to a recommendation made in the Finkel review for the AEMC to review and update connection standards in the National Electricity Rules. It forms part of the AEMC’s broader package of system security work which includes a range of measures to help AEMO and networks manage a transforming power system with reduced inertia and system strength.
Media: Prudence Anderson, Communications Director, 0404 821 935 or (02) 8296 7817