Uncommitted Projects - FAQs
AEMO is working with the NSP’s to schedule the uncommitted projects commencing in April 2021. The scheduling of the uncommitted projects will be based on the submission of the completed information as outlined in the Connecting Generators in the West Murray Zone – sequencing uncommitted projects document released in February 2021. AEMO is committed to regular progress reports as we work towards integrating generation securely in West Murray.
Q: Has AEMO applied the “Defining system strength zone methodology” across the whole NEM?
AEMO will not share the details of the sequence schedule. Each project will be advised of their position in the sequence schedule.
Q: How will applications in the connection application stage be sequenced?
Q: Will our project only be assessed after the committed projects?
Yes. Integration assessment for projects in the application stage will commence after completion of integration assessment for committed projects, in April 2021.
Q: What we can do in the interim period until our sequenced integration assessment comes around?
You can continue to work with your Network Service Provider and AEMO on your application. The integration assessment is the final phase in the overall assessment process under clauses 5.3.4A and 5.3.4B.
Q: Could you please explain the assessment methodology?
The respective NSP and AEMO will assess the connection application in accordance to the NER requirements. Prior to acceptance of the Generator Performance Standard, AEMO needs to complete an additional integration assessment. The integration assessment is based on the Defining System Strength Zones: A methodology for the National Electricity Market, released August 2020.
Q: What is the network model that NSP uses in their FIA assessments?
The wide area network model has been shared with all NSPs for their FIA assessments.
Q: Will AEMO issue S5.3.4A and B letter after normal process followed and NSP FIA finalised?
Q: Will we require additional equipment to progress our project?
This will depend on the outcome of the Full Impact Assessment and ability to meet or exceed the Generator Performance Standards for your project.
Q: Will you be assessing generators in groups?
Multiple projects can be assessed if they are electrically far apart. There are no plans to assess generators in groups.
Q: What's the constraint outlook of the network as more generators connect to the WMZ region?
Prospective developers and current applicants should be aware of the following;
The capacity of the existing network in the WMZ to host large scale inverter-connected generation has been likely reached, or will be reached by the time already committed projects are integrated. New and existing generation across large parts of the WMZ will be materially constrained for significant periods of time pending large-scale network investments. This will not only restrict commercial output, but may prevent or delay completion of commissioning for new projects.
Connections that rely on future regulated upgrades to the network cannot be assessed until those upgrades are substantially complete.
Q: Is there an over reliance on increasingly complex PSCAD models? Should there be more emphasis on real world testing?
Since 2017, many technical requirements in the National Electricity Rules (NER) for new generating systems have been introduced in response to low system strength issues seen in the National Electricity Market (NEM).
However, the rules did not envisage interactions causing oscillations potentially involving connected equipment within a wide area around the immediate system strength issue. The nature, extent and causes of these issues only become apparent with the advanced and detailed modelling capability that is now essential for technical assessments in weak areas of the grid.
AEMO, in consultation with a number of network service providers, has developed a methodology to define the extent of an area of the power system to be considered as impacted by stability issues resulting from low system strength. A copy of this guideline, Defining System Strength Zones: A methodology for the National Electricity Market was released in August 2020. Please click here to access this guideline.
Q: Have other OEMs with kit in the area, or otherwise, been proactive in (at least) trying to collaborate with AEMO to update their models to mitigate similar issues in future?
Yes. Several OEMs have been working closely with AEMO.