Rule Change: Open

Overview

The AEMC has published a consultation paper seeking stakeholder feedback on two rule change requests, one from a consortium of wind turbine original equipment manufacturers and the other from Renewable Energy Revolution (RER) Pty Ltd. 
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The AEMC has published a consultation paper seeking stakeholder feedback on two rule change requests, one from a consortium of wind turbine original equipment manufacturers and the other from Renewable Energy Revolution (RER) Pty Ltd. 

The Commission has consolidated these rule change requests as they cover similar issues. Both propose that the standards specifying the reactive current fault-response that should be required of connecting plant be changed and set at a level better reflects the locationally specific needs of the power system.

Inverter based resources currently have to demonstrate that they comply with the minimum access standards specified in Schedule 5.2.5 of the NER. Network service providers are not able to provide connection approval to parties that do not meet this minimum standard. 

RER’s proposal considers that the existing reactive current fault-response requirements are not appropriate for locations in the network with low inductance resistance ratios and recommends a move away from the current static maximum reactive current fault-response requirement of 100% of the unit’s maximum continuous current. Instead, they have propose a maximum reactive current response that is less than 100% and varies based on the impedance at the connection point described by the local reactance to resistance ratio.

The wind turbine OEMs’ proposal is more broad and considers that: 

  • the standards are set at an inappropriate level
  • compliance is not defined in a way that is mutually understood by AEMO, TNSPs and connecting proponents
  • inconsistencies exist between these and some related standards that make it difficult to comply with all of them

To address these issues, their proposal aims to: 

  • resolve the risks to the commercial viability of new generation and investment duplication by lowering the minimum level of reactive current capability that generators have to install at the connection point to zero
  • resolve challenges with coordinating a generator's reactive current response by both shifting the point of compliance assessment from the connection point to the generator unit terminals and by making the standards describing the characteristics of that response (i.e. when a response should commence, and how quickly it should stabilise) less onerous
  • resolve other issues that are creating uncertainties for the grid approvals process by clarifying potential conflicts between obligations to provide a reactive power response that helps maintain stable voltage levels and an active power response that helps maintain stable frequencies

Stakeholder submissions to the consultation paper closed on 23 June 2022.

Extensions


The Commission extended the timeframe to make a draft determination to 15 December 2022 because there has been a material change in circumstances such that it is necessary.   

Earlier, the timeline to make a draft determination was extended to 3 November 2022 upon commencement of the rule change process, due to the complexity of the issues raised in the rule change requests.

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