WDR Frequently Asked Questions
What is Wholesale Demand Response (WDR)?
The Wholesale Demand Response (WDR) mechanism was included in the National Electricity Rules in June 2020 after significant public consultation.
WDR enables demand side (consumer) participation in the NEM spot market at any time, but it will most likely occur at times of high electricity prices.
How does WDR compare to other demand response options?
Participating in WDR or other demand response is voluntary and every business is different. It requires an ability to schedule plant to reduce demand in accordance with the NEM's dispatch processes. Each business will need to decide or seek advice on whether WDR participation is a good fit for its facility/facilities and load profile/s, as well as consider other demand response options. Other options include participating in the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) mechanism, or contractual arrangements for demand response via a retailer or network service provider. The table sets out the features of the various demand response options available in the NEM.
Alternative with retailer or NSP
Type of mechanism
Out of market
Out of market
Dispatch timeframes and communication
Scheduled in 5 min dispatch timeframe through standard bidding and dispatch process.
Planned ahead (several hour lead time) through verbal communications and agreement
Ranges from planned ahead to immediate. Automatic control to verbal comms.
Bid is at or below market price
AEMO operational decision
Price or technical service need
Standardised capability assessment through registration to meet obligations of NER and ensure no system security issues
Procurement-based service provision to meet reliability need
Procurement-based service provision to meet technical or commercial need
Bid information included in PASA and pre-dispatch
PASA outputs feed into decisions on the need for RERT to protect market
Settlement & Baselines
Baselines calculated at NMI level for settlement
Baselines calculated at aggregated level for settlement
Up to commercial arrangements
Baselines aggregated to DUID level for dispatch compliance assessment
Aggregated baselines used to assess demand response provided against contractual commitment
Who pays for response?
Retailer pays for demand response at its NMI
All Market Customers pay for RERT service
Contracting party pays for service
Established based on size and location
Large loads typically have telemetry, no additional requirements for RERT
How is AEMO's WDR implementation affected by the National Electricity Rules?
AEMO’s WDR implementation is aligned with the National Electricity Rules (NER). There are some areas where AEMO has discretion, however in most instances AEMO must implement what is prescribed in the Rules.
When implementing changes such as WDR, AEMO must also ensure it is fulfilling its broader functions under the NER. In particular, maintaining electricity system security and managing the electricity spot market.
Demand Response Service Provider (DRSP)
What is a demand response service provider (DRSP)?
WDR enables customers to sell demand response in the wholesale market either directly or through specialist aggregators. Customers need to decide whether to become a “demand response service provider” (DRSP) or engage a DRSP to act in the NEM on their behalf.
DRSPs classify and aggregate the demand response capability of large market loads (WDRUs) for dispatch through the NEM’s standard bidding and scheduling processes.
The DRSP will receive payment for dispatched response, measured in mega-watt hours (MWh) against a baseline estimate, at the electricity spot price.
From October 2021 DRSPs will also be the category that provides ancillary service load, replacing the market ancillary service provider category.
Wholesale Demand Response Unit (WDRU)
How is a WDRU different from being a scheduled load?
A scheduled load is continually dispatched and must adhere to targets on absolute consumption, whereas a WDRU is only required to meet a reduction in consumption target (ie a demand response) when it is dispatched to provide WDR by reducing its consumption from, or generating into, the grid. Whereas a scheduled load will have a contiguous stream of dispatch targets that establish the absolute load being consumed at all times, the WDRU will most likely bid into the market so that it is dispatched to reduce consumption against its typical consumption profile when the price is high.
The difference is illustrated in the table. In this example, there are two market loads each with a typical load of 10 MW but one is a scheduled load and the other a WDRU. The scheduled load will consume at 10 MW when dispatched at 10 MW and consume at zero when dispatched at zero. The WDRU will do what it normally does when dispatched at zero (typically consume 10 MW) however, when dispatched by 10 MW it will reduce to zero.
Maximum responsive component (MRC)
Consumption when dispatched at 10 MW
Consumption when dispatched at 6MW
Consumption when dispatched at 0MW
What is the maximum responsive component (MRC)?
Each WDRU has a maximum responsive component (MRC) determined through the WDR classification process. The MRC is scheduled and dispatched through the standard NEM bidding and dispatch processes to provide a load (or demand) reduction. The MRC of each WDRU is the portion of the load at the connection point(s) which is controllable and able to provide the demand response in accordance with dispatch instructions. It may or may not be the total load of the WDRU’s connection point.
An aggregation of WDRUs also has a MRC value (DUID-Level MRC) that is an item of bid and offer validation data under NER Schedule 3.1. Note also that the MRC
- is a bid cap at the DUID level
- caps settlement at the NMI level.
For further information see Figure 1 and Figure 2, WDR high level design
What WDRU information can I see and in what timeframes?
The information you can see depends on your role in the NEM and your relationship with the WDRU.
For specific information on WDR data access for DRSPs, retailers, DNSPs, market participants and the general public see: Access to WDR data and information
- Data-sharing arrangements are also described in the WDR Guidelines
Is direct metering of WDRU possible? For example, for a battery or air conditioning system?
The WDR Rule (2.3.6(m)) (and further described in the WDRM final determination (sections 3.1.1 and C.4.3)) requires that the WDRU is the whole facility and therefore the whole metering installation.
A NMI has one metering installation and multiple metering points. Baselining is done over the whole customer installation not just one metering point.
Note that section 2.1(c) of the draft WDR Guidelines further clarifies the NER requirement, by requiring that “the load is served through a single connection point and does not comprise electrical equipment that can be switched between multiple connection points.
What changes are being made to AEMO’s retail systems?
WDR changes to AEMO's retail systems are modest and mainly relate to adding the DRSP participant type and related attributes (see table). There are no asexml schema changes required to implement WDR.
Retail lifecycle element
NMI and relevant standing data will be created by LNSPs. A NMI must exist before it can be classified as a WDRU
NMI Discovery/ Standing Data
NMI Discovery will be performed just like it is today with a DRSP role returning in the discovery if a DRSP has been assigned. DRSPs will have access to standing data.
- AEMO to create new DRSP role
- DRSP role will be discoverable in Type 2 NMI Discovery
- DRSP will be entitled to access standing data as per CATS Procedures
NMI Role assignment
DRSP role assignment will be performed by AEMO using the CR5101
AEMO to assign DRSP role to relevant WDRU NMIs
Metering changes will happen as per today's processes. DRSPs will be notified upon completion if they have a relationship with the NMI
Role changes will happen as per today's processes. DRSPs will be notified upon completion if they have a relationship with the NMI
Re-en/de-en processes will happen as per today's processes. DRSPs will be notified of NMI status changes via completion of change requests if they have a relationship with the NMI.
Extinction processes will happen as per today's processes. DRSPs will be notified of NMI status changes via completion of change requests if they have a relationship with the NMI.
Removal of DRSP role in MSATS
DRSP removal will be processed by AEMO by assigning a participant id that reflects that no DRSP is assigned to the NMI.
AEMO to create a participant ID to replace the DRSP participant ID showing that a DRSP no longer exists and the NMI is no longer a classified WDRU.
Why does my site need telemetry when AEMO doesn’t currently see my changes in demand?
To perform its power system operation functions, AEMO uses a combination of real-time measurements and estimates to provide it with the necessary operational awareness of conditions in the power system. In the case of WDR, AEMO will require data on the quantity of WDR being provided by each DUID in the operational forecasting and central dispatch processes.
Real-time telemetry data should be provided where:
- there is no suitable estimate available that can be used; or
- the real-time measurement is expected to be more accurate or provide greater operational awareness than the available estimate, and this improvement is of critical importance for power system operation.
The WDR Guidelines (under consultation) will set out the thresholds above which telemetry will be required, and also the process to seek an exemption from having to install telemetry.
How does my network connection agreement relate to WDR?
Network connection agreement terms and conditions are set by the relevant network service provider. To operate on a network, generators and loads must comply with the terms of their network connection agreement. Market participants (including those who undertake WDR) are required to operate in accordance with their network connection agreement, as well as comply with all their NER requirements, at all times.
Can I make a late submission to a WDR consultation or provide feedback after its due?
We welcome your submission/feedback when you’re able to provide it. However please note that AEMO may not be able to give full consideration to submissions/feedback provided after the due date.
There is too much jargon! Help?
You are right. Fortunately, there are some useful web pages to point you in the right direction:
- Acronyms and abbreviations
- Explanations about the energy markets, participants, governing bodies and regulations