The AEMC today called for public submissions on proposals to introduce new arrangements for system restart ancillary services so that consumers pay no more than necessary for the restoration of electricity supplies following a large-scale black out of the entire power system.

The draft determination proposes  changes to the national electricity rules to improve frameworks for system restart ancillary services (SRAS or restart services) in the National Electricity Market (NEM).

 Blackouts can have significant economic and social impacts, so it is important there are enough restart services available to quickly restore power supply.

The AEMC’s proposed rule changes would help make the market for system restart services more competitive, improve governance arrangements, and focus on making SRAS prices more cost reflective.

Specifically, these changes to restart services frameworks would:

  • recover the costs of restart services on the basis of the regional benefits they provide
  • clarify  the role of these services in allowing the independent restoration of each subnetwork;
  • expand the range of potential restart services; and
  • clarify the roles and responsibilities of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the Reliability Panel within the restart services frameworks.

The AEMC’s draft more preferable rule is made in response to two separate rule change proposals made by:

  • a group of stakeholders including the National Generators Forum (NGF), AGL, Alinta Energy, Energy Brix, GDF Suez, Intergen and Origin Energy; and
  • the market operator, AEMO.

Given the overlap in issues raised in the two rule change proposals, the Commission decided to consolidate and address them as a single rule change.

Stakeholders are invited to provide comment on the draft determination. To allow for the Christmas holiday period and the complexity of the issues covered in this draft determination, we have allowed for an extended consultation period of 9 weeks. Submissions should be provided no later 19 February 2015.