The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has decided to fast track a rule change request that seeks to change the way the system strength quantity (SSQ) component of the system strength charge is calculated.
Generators and certain large loads can choose between two options to reduce their system strength impact on the National Electricity Market (NEM); they can either pay the charge, or they can take proactive measures to self-remediate by installing synchronous plant, like a condenser or grid-forming battery.
The AEMC has made the decision to fast track the rule change request in recognition of the consultation already carried out by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) during the development of its system strength impact assessment guidelines (SSIAG).
The fast track process allows the AEMC to proceed directly to publishing a draft determination and draft rule (if made), opening an opportunity for feedback thereafter. A draft determination is scheduled to be published on 30 November 2023.
If made, the proposed rule may significantly affect the system strength quantity’s value, impacting the total charge paid by connecting generators choosing that option.
AEMO and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) have introduced an interim solution to facilitate the progress of connection applications during the rule change process:
- an AEMO guidance paper proposing a revised SSQ calculation
- communication from the AER to Network Service Providers (NSP’s), that it won’t take action for non compliance if AEMO’s proposed methodology is followed. The AER will re-evaluate its stance on compliance once and if the AEMC issues the final rule change determination.