The Reliability Panel  has published an issues paper for the review of the frequency operating standard that applies 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 specific frequency requirements that AEMO must meet under different power system conditions are set out in the frequency operating standard, which is determined by the Reliability Panel.

The review is investigating the appropriateness of the 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.

The issues paper sets out the Panel’s approach, describes key issues related to the standard, and poses a number of questions for stakeholders to consider.

The Panel is proposing to complete the review in two stages. This staged approach reflects the various ongoing reviews of market and regulatory arrangements that are likely to have an impact on the Panel’s ability to effectively assess the frequency operating standard.

Stage one

Stage one is primarily addressing technical issues and changes stemming from the new Emergency Frequency Control Schemes rule, including the introduction of the new protected event contingency category in the standard.

The Panel plans to publish a draft report for stage one in late August 2017 followed by a final report in late October 2017.

Stage two

Stage two will consider the various components of the frequency operating standard, including the settings of the frequency bands and time requirements for maintenance and restoration of system frequency.

Stage two will begin when a number of issues being considered by the AEMC in the frequency control frameworks review and other related work identified in the issues paper have been further progressed.

These issues include whether:

  • Mandatory governor response requirements should be introduced
  • Existing frequency control arrangements remain fit for purpose
  • Frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) markets are appropriately structured

The review is an integrated part of the AEMC’s system security work program which is addressing the implications for power system security as the energy market transforms.

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