Benchmark Reserve Capacity Price

The Benchmark Reserve Capacity Price (BRCP) is an annual calculation conducted by the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA). It is served as a crucial input for determining the Reserve Capacity Prices and Reserve Capacity Security amounts.

The BRCP aims to establish the marginal cost of providing additional megawatts (MW) of Reserve Capacity in each Capacity Year. It is calculated by undertaking a technical, bottom-up cost evaluation of the entry of the BRCP reference technology, which offers the capacity at the lowest annual capital cost, along with annual fixed operating and maintenance costs within the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).

On 20 December 2023, the ERA determined that the BRCP is $230,000/MW/year for the 2024 Reserve Capacity Cycle, covering the 2026-27 Capacity Year. The determination is based on a cost estimate of building and connecting a hypothetical 160 MW open cycle gas turbine generator (OCGT) to the SWIS. The 2024 BRCP is 18.9% higher than the 2023 BRCP ($193,400 per MW per year), reflecting the rising cost of raw materials, increases in the weighted cost of capital, and a growth in global demand for generation, including OCGTs.

Under clause 4.16.11 of the Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) Rules, the Coordinator of Energy has determined the new reference technology for the Benchmark Peak and Flexible Capacity Providers. This technology is specified as a 200 MW / 800MWh lithium-ion battery with a 330 kV connection in proximity to Kwinana or Pinjar. This reference technology will be applied to determining Peak and Flexible BRCPs for future Reserve Capacity Cycles

For further information, refer to the Coordinator of Energy Determination: Benchmark Capacity Providers, which was published on 18 December 2023.

Historical Benchmark Reserve Capacity Prices

The table below shows the BRCP and Reserve Capacity Price for each Capacity Year since market start. The Reserve Capacity Price is paid by AEMO for Capacity Credits not traded between Market Participants.

Capacity Year BRCP ($ per MW per year) Reserve Capacity Price ($ per MW per year)
 2026 -27 $230,000  
 2025-26 $193,400 $251,420.00
2024-25 $165,700 $194,783.54
2023-24 $151,700 $105,949.27
2022-23 $141,900 $85,294.19
2021-22 $154,200 $78,573.33
2020-21 $153,600 $114,134.15
2019–20 $149,800 $126,683.47
2018–19 $159,800 $138,760.39
2017–18 $164,800 $111,752.53
2016–17 $176,800 $121,888.94
2015–16 $157,000 $120,199.31
2014–15 $163,900 $122,427.87
2013–14 $240,600 $178,476.69
2012–13 $238,500 $186,001.04
2011–12 $164,100 $131,804.58
2010–11 $173,400 $144,235.38
2009–10 $142,200 $108,458.57
2008–09 $122,500 $97,834.89
2007–08 $150,000 $127,500.00
2006–07 $150,000 $127,500.00
2005–06 $150,000 $127,500.00

A summary of the breakdown of the cost components of the BRCP and Reserve Capacity Prices since market start is provided below.

Previous Benchmark Reserve Capacity Prices (before 2021)

BRCP determinations made before 2021 can be found here.

Five-yearly methodology review

The Economic Regulation Authority is required to review the Market Procedure: Maximum Reserve Capacity Price at least once every five years (clause 4.16.9 of the Market Rules). This review was last completed in 2013 by the Maximum Reserve Capacity Price Working Group. As a result of the last review, the IMO developed a Procedure Change Proposal to amend the Market Procedure. The amended Market Procedure commenced in October 2013. The Procedure Change Proposal and related documents can be found HERE

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