Western Australia's power system resilience strengthened for summer through supplementary Reserve Capacity mechanism

2 min

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has received more than 200 megawatts (MW) of potential reserve capacity proposals in response to the supplementary Reserve Capacity (SRC) tender for the period of 1 December 2022 to 1 April 2023.

Due to a combination of increased forecast demand, extended generation outages, fuel supply constraints, and delays to power generation and storage projects, AEMO has sought additional reserve capacity to offset a potential shortfall of approximately 174 MW for Western Australia’s South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

AEMO’s Executive General Manager – WA and Strategy, Kate Ryan, said AEMO has received a good response to the SRC tender, which is a standard component of the Reserve Capacity Mechanism (RCM) to ensure reliability of supply in the SWIS.

“With capacity generally certified around two years prior to the relevant capacity year, the SRC mechanism exists for circumstances just like these, where changing conditions have arisen in the period since capacity was certified or since the latest publication of the Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO).”

“We’re in the process of finalising the total reserve capacity and associated technical reviews, which includes a mixture of load curtailment and power generation solutions.

These reserves will add further resilience to the grid during the challenging summer period when the power system is under increased stress,” said Ms Ryan. 

In addition to the SRC, AEMO takes other actions to prepare for peak demand periods, including coordinating market generators and demand side response capacity to operate as required, recalling units from outages where possible, and working with Western Power to ensure other non-market sources of capacity are available to provide support if required.

Throughout the summer months, potential risks to power system security may still materialise at times when extreme conditions occur. AEMO will continue to work closely with the WA Government and industry to manage these risks and ensure a safe and reliable power supply for Western Australians.  


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