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With respect to the electricity market AEMO has two core operational roles: power system operator and market operator. These system and market operations are largely integrated.
AEMO operates the interconnected eastern and southern Australian power system from two control centres in different states. Both centres operate around the clock, and are equipped with identical communication and information technology systems.
The entire National Electricity Market (NEM), or individual regions within it, can be operated from either or both centres. This arrangement provides AEMO with the flexibility to respond quickly to any physical or system events that make either site inoperable.
AEMO’s highest priority as power system and market operator of the NEM is managing power system security. A measure of security of electricity supply is the power system’s capacity to continue operating within defined technical limits in the event of the unexpected disconnection of a major power system element, such as a generator or interconnector.
In its role as operator of the NEM, AEMO produces pre-dispatch, short term (ST) and medium term (MT) Projected Assessments of System Adequacy (PASA) outlooks. This provides the market with information on supply availability and expected electricity reserve levels to assist market participants make appropriate business decisions.
The pre-dispatch PASA process runs every half hour and the ST PASA process run every 2 hours. Combined, they provide reserve forecast information for every half-hour over the next seven days. The MT PASA process runs at least once a week and provides a reserve forecast for the next two years.
AEMO also operates the retail and wholesale gas markets in south-east Australia, and the Victorian gas DTS (Declared Transmission System). AEMO’s integrated role as Victorian gas market and system operator is unique; elsewhere AEMO operates the gas Short Term Trading Market, but gas system infrastructure is operated by facility owners. AEMO does, however, provide emergency management services for the entire interconnected eastern Australian gas grid through the National Gas Emergency Response Advisory Committee (NGERAC).
The operation of the electricity and gas markets and systems involves metering and settlements, market performance reporting and incident analysis.
AEMO also manages the prudential arrangements to maintain the financial integrity of these markets.