AEMO is working closely with generators, inverter manufacturers and network service providers to manage system stability on the grid in north-west Victoria and south-west New South Wales (West Murray).
We are working with the energy industry to evolve the power system through solutions that maintain grid security and deliver reliable and affordable energy to all Australians. At present, developers should be aware that instability issues could increase the cost and extend the timing of inverter-connected generation projects in the West Murray area.
Current oscillatory stability issue
Several new generation connections in the West Murray area commenced operation in 2019. Recent PSCAD modelling studies showed that the combined operation of this new plant results in oscillatory instability on the power system following some credible contingency events. The post-contingent voltage oscillations observed are potentially severe enough to have an adverse impact on system security and quality of supply.
AEMO has limited the output of existing operational generators pending a resolution of the issues. All projects at the commissioning stage will be re-assessed for any contribution to voltage oscillations and to reconfirm compliance with performance standards before progressing further. AEMO’s aim is to minimise the risk that new plant will exacerbate the problem, or create any other adverse system conditions.
In-progress connection applications
Impacted project developers who are actively progressing through the connection application process have been notified of the issues.
AEMO is working with them and local Network Service Providers (NSPs) to develop efficient ways of progressing their applications for connection while maintaining grid stability in the area.
Prospective connection applicants
Other developers interested in connecting generation in the West Murray area are encouraged to contact their local NSP or AEMO before making significant financial commitments, to discuss how they might be able to progress their project. Prospective developers should be aware of the following key requirements:
- AEMO will not be able to progress any assessment of proposed performance standards without a complete, site-specific PSCAD model.
- A full system strength impact assessment will be required for all new and modified connections proposed. It is likely that system strength connection works or remediation schemes will be needed.
- Most inverter-connected generation in the West Murray area is likely to be impacted by thermal or stability constraints at times.
AEMO’s focus is on the adequacy of energy resources to meet the reliability needs of the power system, and our ability to operate the system in a manner that supplies consumers with reliable, secure and cost-effective electricity.