The Australian Energy Market Commission will fast-track an assessment of proposed new energy market rules that aim to identify emerging risks to electricity security risks requested by Australia’s energy ministers.
Federal, state and territory energy ministers requested the new electricity security rules, that would require regulators to undertake a general power system risk review (GPSRR), to identify emerging risks to system security.
Initiating the rule change request assessment on Thursday, the AEMC said the general power system risk review process would complement an existing ‘Power System Frequency Risk Review’ process that examines risks related to frequency control measures.
Energy ministers said that the additional rules were necessary to allow energy system planners to consider a wider range of factors that impact energy system security, beyond frequency controls, and will allow for consideration of distribution network design and the growing penetration of variable renewable energy supplies.
Energy ministers identified a series of six priority risks to be considered by the review process, including changes in frequency, voltage, levels of inertia, availability of system strength services, the penetration of distributed energy resources and the ‘operation of special protection schemes’.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) would be required to lead the reviews, to be undertaken at least once a year. The outcomes of the review would be used to inform the Annual Planning Reviews to be undertaken by network operators, as well as AEMO in the preparation of its Integrated System Plans.
The AEMC had recommended the new rules to energy ministers following its review of energy system risks in the aftermath of the state-wide South Australian blackout.
“The AEMC consulted extensively on its recommendation and its rationale through the process of its review of the South Australian black system event. Consequently, a fast track process will be used for this request,” the AEMC said in a statement.
The AEMC added that it will soon publish a draft decision on the proposed rule changes, expected by 11 February and will seek feedback from energy market stakeholders.
“Under the fast track process, the next step is for the Commission to publish a draft determination and draft rule (if made), which will be open to further stakeholder feedback,” the AEMC said.