The Reliability Panel today published a draft determination for stage two of its review of the frequency operating standard. The standard is a key part of the frequency control arrangements in the national electricity market.  

Under the National Electricity Rules, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) must keep the power system stable and securely operating at a frequency close to 50 hertz. The Reliability Panel determines the frequency operating standard which specifies the frequency requirements that AEMO must meet under different power system conditions. 

The review is investigating the appropriateness of settings in the standard, in light of the ongoing energy market transformation as conventional synchronous generation leaves the market and non-synchronous generation such as wind and solar panels enters the market.  

Stage one of the review, completed in November 2017, set a new frequency operating standard that gives clearer guidance on how frequency should be controlled during extreme events.

Stage two of the review addresses a number of issues identified in stage one including clarification of the scope of the limit that applies in the FOS for Tasmania on the size of the largest generation event. The draft FOS also includes revisions that remove duplication and improve the clarity of the obligations that the FOS places on AEMO to manage the power system frequency.

The Reliability Panel invites submissions on the draft determination by 17 January 2019. A final report for the review is due by 31 March 2019.  

This review is an integrated part of the AEMC’s frequency control work plan which sets out a series of actions that are being progressed by the AEMC, AEMO and the AER in relation to frequency control. The frequency control work plan is part of the AEMC’s broader system security and reliability work program which addresses the implications for power system security and reliability as the energy market transforms. 

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


How is reliability and security managed in the national electricity market?

To keep the lights on, the power system needs to be:

  • secure – able to operate within defined technical limits, even if there is an incident such as the loss of a major transmission line or large generator
  • reliable - have enough generation, demand response and network capacity to supply customers.

AEMO is responsible for maintaining power system security and reliability in accordance with standards and guidelines, including those set by the AEMC’s Reliability Panel.

Reliability Panel

The Reliability Panel's core functions relate to the safety, security and reliability of the national electricity system. The focus of the Panel's work is on determining standards and guidelines which are part of the framework for maintaining a secure and reliable power system. The Panel is chaired by AEMC Commissioner, Dr Brian Spalding. Its members are broadly representative of all stakeholders interested in the operation of the power system and the electricity market including consumer groups, generators, network service providers, retailers and the power system and market operator, AEMO.