Planning for operability

AEMO is responsible for maintaining and improving power system security in the National Electricity Market (NEM) and for providing a national, strategic perspective for electricity transmission planning and coordination.

AEMO considers the need for any power system security and reliability services in the NEM over the coming five years as part of its obligations to assess system strength, inertia and Network Support and Control Ancillary Services (NSCAS) requirements and shortfalls. Any shortfall declarations must be addressed by the transmission network service providers (or by AEMO in the case of NSCAS).

This page provides AEMO’s system strength, inertia and NSCAS assessments.

The infographic below summarises the emerging trends and outcomes from the 2020 planning for system operability assessments.

Further information on AEMO’s planning and coordination for power system security can be found on the Integrated System Plan (ISP)  and Renewable Integration Study (RIS) and Power System Frequency Risk Review (PSFRR) pages.

System strength

AEMO sees system strength as the ability of the power system to maintain and control the voltage waveform at any given location in the power system, both during steady state operation and following a disturbance. More information about system strength can be found in AEMO’s System strength explained, and AEMO’s Power System Requirements  reference papers.

To meet its obligation to consider system strength requirements in the NEM, AEMO:

  • Publishes a system strength requirements methodology.

  • Determines system strength requirements, including fault level nodes in each region and a minimum three phase fault level at each node, using fault level as a proxy for system strength.

  • Assesses whether there is or is likely to be fault level shortfall in the region for the upcoming five-year period.

AEMO’s system strength assessments are provided below, as well as the system strength requirements methodology.

These assessments cover AEMO’s requirement to assess regional system strength requirements. Separately, new generators being connected in the NEM must remediate their own impact on system strength under the remediation (or ‘do no harm’) rules arrangements. Additional information on system strength can be found on the System Security Market Frameworks Review page. 

Inertia

Inertial responses provide a rapid and automatic injection of energy to suppress rapid frequency deviations, slowing the rate of change of frequency in the power system. A lack of inertial response can present risks to system security in the event that affected regions become separated from the rest of the NEM. More information about inertia can be found in AEMO’s Power System Requirements reference paper.

To meet its obligation to consider inertia requirements in the NEM, AEMO: 

  • Publishes an inertia requirements methodology.
  • Determines the minimum threshold level of inertia for when a region is either islanded from the rest of the NEM or at credible risk of separation.
  • Determines the secure operating level of inertia for when a region is electrically islanded.
  • Assesses whether there is or is likely to be an inertia shortfall in the region for the upcoming five-year period. 

AEMO’s inertia assessments are provided below, as well as the inertia requirements methodology.

Additional information on inertia can be found on the System Security Market Frameworks Review page.

Network support and control ancillary services

Network Support and Control Ancillary Services (NSCAS) are non-market ancillary services that may be delivered to maintain power system security and reliability of supply of the transmission network, or to maintain or increase the power transfer capability of the transmission network. More information about the technical and operational needs of the power system can be found in AEMO’s Power System Requirements reference paper.

To meet its obligation to consider NSCAS needs in the NEM, AEMO:

  • Develops and publishes a NSCAS description and quantity procedure.
  • Assesses NSCAS needs for the upcoming five-year period.
  • Publishes NSCAS tender guidelines, for cases where AEMO tenders for NSCAS rather than the transmission network service provider.

AEMO’s NSCAS assessments are provided below, followed by links to other NSCAS documents.

NSCAS assessments completed before 2019 can be accessed through the National Transmission Network Development Plan page.

AEMO is currently consulting on the Network Support and Control Ancillary Services Description and Quantity Procedure Amendments. The consultation materials can be found on the Network Support and Control Ancillary Services Description and Quantity Procedure Consultation page.

AEMO consulted on updating the NSCAS description and quantity procedure in 2020. The current procedure is provided below, effective from 1 October 2020, and the consultation materials can be found on the NSCAS Description and Quantity Procedure Amendments consultation page.

Additional information on NSCAS, including the NSCAS tender guidelines and historical documents, can be found on the Network support and control ancillary services procedures and guidelines page.

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