A review of the performance of the National Electricity Market (NEM) for the 2021–22 financial year has found that the energy system maintained high levels of reliability, security and safety despite exceptionally challenging circumstances. 

The Reliability Panel today released its 2021–22 Annual Market Performance Review of the system, providing an assessment of the reliability, security and safety of the NEM, including the market suspension event that occurred between 12 and 24 June 2022. 

The annual review is prepared using data, insights and information from across the market and offers an analysis in one place for energy market participants to access.

The Reliability Panel’s findings from the June 2022 event are consistent with those from other market bodies and point to a confluence of planned and unplanned thermal outages, low variable energy generation periods, high customer demand, high commodity prices and the level of domestic price caps. 

A broader assessment of system reliability found that while the reliability standard was not breached across the 2021–22 financial year period, reliability in the NEM may be more challenging to manage in the future than it has been in the past.

The Reliability Panel has also confirmed that new investment will be important for reliability in the NEM in the medium-term, particularly if there is an acceleration in the rate of thermal generator retirements. 

On security, the Reliability Panel observed improvements relating to frequency performance, a reduction in the use of directions and a decrease in system-restart ancillary services (SRAS) costs during the period being reviewed. 

Areas to be addressed included voltage oscillations continuing in the West Murray Zone, the number of protection mal-operation reviewable operating incidents and the amount of load under the control of frequency relays, which are below levels anticipated in the National Electricity Rules (NER).

No safety issues were identified as a result of the management of the power system.

While formal stakeholder submissions are not being sought, the Reliability Panel welcomes comments on its approach and on issues to be considered as part its Annual Market Performance Review process.

The Annual Market Performance Review is carried out by the Reliability Panel in accordance with the requirements under the NER and the standing Terms of Reference issued by the AEMC. 

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Media: Jessica Rich, 0459 918 964, media@aemc.gov.au.