Regulation Impact Statement Updates

Official website for publishing regulatory impact analysis information for regulatory decisions announced by the Australian Government, COAG and COAG Councils.

System Restart Services, Standards and Testing

14th April 2020

COAG Decision Regulation Impact Statement – Australian Energy Market Commission

On 2 April 2020, the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) released a final rule determination making changes to the frameworks for the procurement, testing and deployment of system restart ancillary services (SRAS) that need to take effect prior to the procurement of the next round of SRAS contracts by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). These changes will allow AEMO, transmission network service providers (TNSPs) and other parties involved in the restoration of the power system to more effectively prepare for, and respond to, a major supply disruption, increasing the likelihood that energy supply can be restored promptly following a major blackout.

The changing generation mix, including the increasing penetration of non-synchronous, inverter-connected generators in the national electricity market (NEM), can create challenges relating to the availability and dependability of the services required to restore supply during a system restoration. The final rule addresses these challenges by:

  • expanding the definitions of SRAS and black start capability, to allow AEMO to procure the services needed to effectively and promptly restore supply to consumers,
  • clarifying that AEMO can take long-term costs into account when procuring SRAS, to help reduce the overall costs of sourcing SRAS,
  • establishing a transparent and fit-for-purpose framework for the physical testing of system restart paths, to enhance the likely physical effectiveness of a system restoration, should one ever occur, and
  • clarifying the scope, form and content of the SRAS communication protocols, to improve the processes that underpin the effectiveness of a system restoration.

AEMO is required to update the SRAS Guideline to account for the changes to the SRAS frameworks under the final rule, by 2 November 2020, and will be working closely with the market bodies, the Energy Security Board, jurisdictions and the energy industry on the implications of the current COVID-19 threat for implementation timeframes.

The AEMC’s final rule determination has been assessed by the Office of Best Practice Regulation as compliant with requirements for a Council of Australian Government’s Decision RIS.

Please note: any accessibility queries should be directed to the Australian Energy Market Commission.


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