2018 Integrated System Plan (ISP)

The first Integrated System Plan (ISP) delivered a strategic infrastructure development plan, based on sound engineering and economics, which can facilitate an orderly energy system transition under a range of scenarios.

The ISP integrated the 2017 National Transmission Network Development Plan within the ISP. The 2018 NTNDP also leveraged the outcomes of the 2018 ISP.

The ISP is complemented by an interactive map.

Key findings

AEMO’s analysis identifies that fundamental changes are occurring in the energy sector, including: 

  • Flattening grid demand due to the growth of rooftop photovoltaic (PV) and increasing use of local storage.
  • The fact that over the next 20 years, a percentage of the NEM’s existing coal resources will be approaching the end of their technical lives.
  • The changing investment profile and capabilities of various supply resources.
  • The falling costs of new renewable plants and the advancements in, and availability of, storage technologies.

The ISP finds that a portfolio approach of supply resources, including both retention of existing resources and continued growth of utility-scale renewable generation, energy storage, distributed energy resources (DER), flexible thermal capacity (including gas-powered generation) and transmission development to be the most efficient approach.

AEMO reviewed various transmission reinforcement options, assessing the costs and time to implement these relative to the modelled benefits. The ISP delivers economic benefits under all scenarios. These include:

  • Group 1: Near-term construction to maximise economic use of existing resources.
  • Group 2: Developments in the medium term to enhance trade between regions, provide access to storage and support extensive development of Renewable Energy Zones (REZs).
  • Group 3: Longer term developments to support REZs and system reliability and security.

Independent third-party analysis of the 2018 Integrated System Plan

AEMO has published two independent, supplementary analysis reports that further investigate two core components of the 2018 ISP.

Developed by Aurora Energy Research (Aurora), Report 1 analyses the potential reduction in power bills the implementation of the ISP could provide to Australian energy consumers through increases in competition and market efficiency through additional interconnection investment. Report 2 provides independent economic analysis on whether AEMO’s coal closure timeline (based on either advice of closure or expected end of technical life in the ISP plan period) requires adjustment because of changing earnings in an evolving market environment.

AEMO recognises the findings of Aurora’s independent study, but we confirm that the assumptions do not necessarily represent the view of the market operator.

Supporting information

The ISP draws on detailed modelling data and input assumptions – including an assumptions workbook, which can be found on the Interactive Database page.

In addition, the ISP also integrated the 2017 National Transmission Network Development Plan (NTNDP).

Integrated System Plan consultation

AEMO consulted broadly and extensively at all stages during the development of the ISP. The ISP consultation paper and stakeholder submissions can be found on the 2018 Integrated System Plan Consultation page.

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