AEMO identifies essential services gaps in the National Electricity Market

2 min

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) published its 2021 System Security Reports on Network Support and Control Ancillary Services (NSCAS), system strength and inertia.

The annual analysis identifies emerging trends, shortfalls and gaps to maintain critical power system requirements across the National Electricity Market (NEM) for the coming five-year period.

Key insights within the report capture changing operating conditions, including declining minimum operational demand, shifting synchronous generator behaviour and a rapid uptake of variable renewable energy resources. Click here to read AEMO’s Power System Requirements document.

The unprecedented nature and pace of change in the NEM means more shortfalls and gaps in requirements for system strength, inertia and NSCAS are inevitable during this transformational period.

The changes to the NEM, already commenced, are transformational, and the need for additional system security services will only increase over the coming years as power stations that previously supplied these services withdraw from the system.
The identification of actual or emerging shortfalls and gaps is a natural step to facilitate the necessary services and investment to address these essential system security needs.

Declaration of shortfalls and gaps to be addressed by transmission network service providers (TNSPs) and jurisdictional planning bodies include:

  • System strength shortfalls declared in New South Wales and Queensland.
  • Inertia shortfalls declared in Queensland and South Australia.
  • Voltage control gaps declared in Queensland and South Australia, as well as a marginal gap in New South Wales.
  • A gap may be declared in Victoria if the delivery of new reactors is delayed.

In Tasmania, previous system strength and inertia shortfalls have now been resolved but this report notes their re-emergence when the existing services agreement ends.
The essential power system needs identified in these 2021 System Security Reports must be considered as early as possible to allow for solution identification, following by procurement, service delivery, and testing timelines.

AEMO and the TNSPs will undertake joint planning in 2022 and beyond to ensure that essential power system needs are met as the Australian energy transformation continues at pace.

For further information, please visit AEMO’s website.

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