AEMO has published our fourth State of the System update, capturing a round-up of developments in the east coast energy system, along with engagement opportunities on important initiatives and consultations.
As always, we welcome feedback via email@example.com or through our survey and encourage interested parties to subscribe.
NEM connections update
In the past 2 months, 8 projects with a total capacity of 724 megawatts (MW) achieved registration, and 4 generators with a total capacity of 493 MW completed their commissioning and are now in full operation.
New generators registered:
- Stockyard Hill Wind Farm (VIC/286 MW)
- Gunnedah Solar Farm (NSW/110 MW
- Wagga North Solar Farm (NSW/48 MW)
- Bango 999 Wind Farm (NSW/82 MW)
- Junee Solar Farm (NSW/30 MW)
- Kennedy Energy Park (QLD/50 MW)
- Sun Metals Solar Farm (QLD/14 MW) (capacity increase from 107 MW to 121 MW)
- Bulgana Green Power Hub (VIC/104 MW) (capacity increase from 100 MW to 204 MW)
New generators commissioned and in operation:
- Yarranlea Solar Farm (QLD/103 MW)
- Berrybank Wind Farm (VIC/180 MW)
- Bulgana Green Power Hub (VIC/first 100 MW)
- Glenrowan West Sun Farm (VIC/110 MW)
The NEM generation maps are available here and will be updated mid-July 2021.
West Murray Zone update
Work on the West Murray Zone (WMZ) is progressing well. There are a total of 21 generators in the WMZ now in full operation with a total capacity of 1.5 GW. A further 8 projects with a total capacity of 1.1 GW have been registered and are in the commissioning stage.
Currently, there are more than 25 projects in the application phase in the zone. The next three projects are presently being integrated and tentative integration assessment start dates have been provided to the subsequent three projects. AEMO continues to work with the Network Service Providers (NSPs) involved in the WMZ to prepare uncommitted projects for integration assessment and provide information on the WMZ integration assessment sequencing timelines.
With the completion of the integration of committed projects into the WMZ, the capacity of the existing network to host large scale inverter-connected generation has been reached. 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.
It remains important that developers with projects in the application and enquiry phase continue to work with the relevant NSP to understand potential impacts on their project.
AEMO and Clean Energy Council launch Connections Reform Initiative
AEMO and the Clean Energy Council (CEC) launched a joint response in February 2021, the Connections Reform Initiative, to further improve the connection process for renewable and hybrid projects in the National Electricity Market (NEM).
This initiative builds on existing work the CEC and AEMO have led with CEC members, transmission and distribution businesses and other industry stakeholders to address systemic issues associated with the connection process.
The initiative is a joint project by the CEC and AEMO and involves CEC members, NSPs, industry and market body representatives, including the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and the Energy Security Board (ESB). Together, we are working towards the following objectives:
- a consistent and predictable connections process that delivers repeatable outcomes.
- reduce re-work and improve efficiency and quality of information to address information asymmetry.
- create a collaborative working model between industry, AEMO and the NSPs.
A web page containing more information on the Connections Reform Initiative will be live on AEMO's website soon.
Generation Developer Survey
AEMO commenced surveying generation developers during May and June with three separate surveys covering connection, registration and commissioning. We look forward to expanding this survey beyond the initial sample size to further developers for a more complete picture of their interactions and experience with AEMO.
Initial responses show that developers would like to see:
- Greater visibility of connection application status and progress on technical issue resolution, tracking requests for information and acknowledging receipt of information.
- Development of further guidelines including:
- Minimum technical compliance for newly committed projects.
- Commissioning requirements.
- NER requirements for different generating assets.
- Examples of a high-quality documents/responses.
- Improved communication and engagement for the release of new technical requirements.
- Early commitment to connection timeframe/pathway.
- A review of the market registration information requirements and a clearer registration pathway.
- Improved AEMO website information architecture and search capability.
- Greater AEMO engineering support for commissioning activities via a cost recovery model.
Thank you to those developers who have responded so far. Improvements based on this feedback will be integrated into the Connections Reform Initiative.
Commissioning of generators in constrained regions
Commissioning of generators in the NEM is increasingly impacted by network constraints in electrically bound regions. These constraints need to be managed in addition to energy source availability for intermittent plant. Increasing numbers of connections in constrained areas necessitate improved coordination requirements for outage and testing activities.
AEMO has developed a guidance note as a practical reference document and further resource guide for generators planning and undertaking commissioning activities, to evaluate current conditions and network outages that may affect commissioning. It also sets out expectations of minimum notice periods when undertaking commissioning.
AEMO continues to work with generators and NSPs facing commissioning challenges to move through the commissioning process and is engaging with industry on testing requirements. A guidance note will be published by Friday this week.
For any queries or to get in touch with team, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notice of change to system strength requirement and shortfall at Ross in Queensland
There has been a change to the system strength requirement and shortfall at the Ross fault level node of the NEM, located in north Queensland.
System strength is a critical requirement for a stable and secure power system. A minimum fault level requirement must be set by AEMO for ‘fault level nodes’ in the NEM to ensure that enough system strength is available for the system to remain stable under normal conditions and following a disturbance.
AEMO has now assessed the post-contingency minimum fault level requirement at the Ross fault level node as 1,175 MVA, subject to operating conditions.
AEMO has finalised our assessment of the arrangements established by Powerlink in response to AEMO’s April 2020 notice of fault level shortfall at Ross. Following the implementation of these arrangements in north Queensland, AEMO no longer considers there to be a fault level shortfall at Ross.
For more information please refer to the industry information notice now available on AEMO’s website, or contact Samantha Christie at email@example.com.
Queensland operational incident
In June, AEMO released the Preliminary Report on the major operational incident in Queensland on 25 May. The incident involved the trip of multiple generators and high voltage transmission lines in Queensland, leading to a significant reduction of load and temporary synchronous separation between Queensland and NSW.
The preliminary report provides a summary of the known facts relating to the incident as known at the date of publication. Detailed analysis of the event, and resulting recommendations, will be released in AEMO’s final incident report.
To continue investigations, data and information will need to be provided by registered participants, and most initial requests were issued on 27 May 2021. A timeline for publication of AEMO’s final detailed operating incident report is yet to be determined.
On the day of the incident, AEMO activated two reserve contracts in Queensland, with a total capacity of 15 MW. AEMO activated reserves in response to a forecast Lack of Reserve (LOR) 2 condition which developed into an actual LOR 2 and a forecast LOR 3 condition.
Estimated payments and volumes activated were published on 1 June. Actual payments and volumes will be published in the quarterly RERT report due in August 2021.
Link to estimates here.
Integrated System Planning (ISP) updates
AEMO is working to complete the ISP preparatory activities, with consultation on the ISP Methodology and the Inputs, Assumptions and Scenarios Report (IASR) now complete. Both will be published on 30 July 2021. AEMO will then commence modelling, ahead of the publication of the Draft ISP by 10 December 2021.
If you want to get involved visit AEMO's website.
AEMO Real-time Simulator Project
AEMO is progressing with the implementation of the real-time simulator, an important new tool that will allow AEMO to perform detailed electromagnet transient (EMT) power system studies in minutes rather than hours. Following contract award late last year, OPAL-RT has successfully completed the proof-of-concept stage and is now working on the deployment of the simulator platform. Latest update is here and details of this initiative are available here.
Modelling distributed PV to improve power system security
AEMO, in conjunction with the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and solar monitoring company Solar Analytics, has undertaken a three-year project called Monitoring and Analysis Toolbox for Compliance in a High DER future (MATCH). The project aims to establish a robust monitoring and analysis toolbox to better understand the behavior of distributed energy resources (DER) and implications for power system security.
The outputs from the Project MATCH are expected to inform how AEMO manages DER response to disturbances, such as implementing changes to constraints or contingency Frequency Ancillary Control Services (FCAS) requirements linked to real-time DER generation.
These measures should help ensure the power system is operated safely, securely and reliably with increasing quantities of DER. Better data will provide more robustness in the design of management measures, reduce the need for conservative management measures.
Project MATCH is seeking collaborators to get involved and invites anyone who is interested to be a part of the project to make contact at DERProgram@aemo.com.au. Read the behavior of distributed resources during power system disturbances report.
Each quarter, AEMO collects and publishes generation information on the capacity of existing, withdrawn, committed, and proposed generation projects in the NEM. This information is used in AEMO’s key forecasting and planning activities, along with helping inform participants and industry stakeholders.
Generation project developers and participants are encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org for log-in details to include their generation projects in AEMO’s online system.
Western Victoria Transmission Network Project: AusNet Services announces the proposed single overhead corridor
A proposed single overhead corridor has been announced for the Western Victoria Transmission Network Project. The purpose of determining the proposed single overhead corridor is to focus on a smaller, more practical area to undertake intense field investigations for the Environment Effects Statement (EES).
This project is being delivered by AusNet Services, which is responsible to consult on design, seek planning approvals, construct, own, operate and maintain the proposed transmission infrastructure. In this role, AusNet Services is also responsible for stakeholder and community engagement and securing the necessary planning and environmental approvals to deliver the infrastructure.
To find out more about the project, visit https://www.westvictnp.com.au/.
Leadership transition in AEMO National Connections
Mark Shilliday, GM National Connections, has decided to take an exciting new leadership role in the energy industry. On 26 July, Siham Knowles will lead an expanded National Connections function, which will now include AEMO’s account management function. AEMO would like to thank Mark for the great leadership he has provided in the connections space over the past few years. His work was instrumental in building a strong and cohesive team, improving our engagement with the NSPs and resolving some of the world’s most challenging connection issues in support of the industry. Thank you very much Mark and congratulations to Siham!
Upcoming Energy Education courses
Enrolments have opened for a newly scheduled course date of Connecting & Registering Generators in the NEM: An Overview on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 July, 2021. This course is for individuals or organisations directly involved in establishing or modifying generator connections in the NEM. AEMO subject matter experts will explore key connections and registrations processes and requirements in the context of the energy transition and the current regulatory environment.
For information on upcoming courses, click the links provided in the calendar below or visit the AEMO Energy Education courses webpage. Enrol via the AEMO Learning Academy or please contact email@example.com for enquiries.
Please note, AEMO’s Energy Education instructor-led courses continue to be delivered online to comply with Covid-19 safety requirements.
- Quarterly Energy Dynamics Q1 report
- Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO)
- Updated 2020 Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO)
- Weekly frequency report
- Quarterly Marginal Loss Factors (MLF) update
- Western Downs incident report
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