AEMO kicks off Engineering Framework as RIS recommendations actioned

2 min

AEMO’s Renewable Integration Study (RIS) Stage 1 report released in April 2020, was the first stage of a multi-year plan to enable the secure operation of the power system out to 2025, with the potential to operate for periods with up to 75 per cent of supply coming from renewable resources.

Since publishing, AEMO has continued to engage with stakeholders, consulting on the methodology, results and actioning several key recommendations of the RIS report.

Stakeholder feedback from consumer groups, industry, electricity network service providers, technology companies and individuals was captured in the Response to Stakeholder Submissions report, published in October 2020.

AEMO Manager of Future Energy Systems, Chris Davies, said: “Stakeholders were generally positive about the release of the RIS Stage 1 report, with many emphasising the importance of ongoing engagement and the need for a consolidated future roadmap out to 2025.

“AEMO is using feedback from the RIS and its recent consultation to review its engagement model across the industry, and to inform the content, format and engagement for subsequent stages of the RIS.

“The next phase will be a NEM Power System Design and Engineering Framework, foreshadowed in the RIS Stage 1 report as an ‘integrated security roadmap’. It will take a broader perspective, beyond renewable integration alone, to acknowledge the work happening across industry,” he said.

The Engineering Framework seeks to provide a map to help stakeholders stay informed of the changing technical needs of the power system, the work underway to meet these changing needs, how the different pieces fit together, and how stakeholders can engage on topics of interest. The framework will structure industry discussions around the prioritisation of future work, so that the most urgent issues are addressed first.

“Prior to public release of the Draft Engineering Framework, scheduled for March 2021, we have engaged with stakeholders, including market bodies, transmission and distribution NSPs and held initial discussions with consumer representatives. We are also planning an all-industry Q&A forum prior to that time,” said Mr Davies.

An information pack on the Engineering Framework is available on the AEMO website.

Progress has been made on all 15 actions outlined in the RIS Stage 1 report, with several already completed.

A key action item completed by AEMO in September, focused on ensuring reliable frequency in the NEM, is the development of a Frequency Control Workplan. As the power system evolves with an increasing percentage of renewable resources, it is critical that generators and consumers can continue to safely deliver or withdraw power without impacting the connected equipment. With multiple work streams underway, the workplan outlines AEMO’s program of technical work and prioritises the most urgent issues, supporting a cohesive industry approach and informing current AEMC and ESB processes.  As an example, under the frequency control work plan, AEMO is providing technical input on several AEMC rule changes, including the introduction of Fast Frequency Response services and incentivisation of Primary Frequency Response.

AEMO is also well progressed on a RIS Stage 1 action to update distributed photovoltaic (DPV) inverter standards. As DPV penetration grows, changes must be made to the standards to ensure DER can be effectively integrated into the power system in a way that is affordable, and improves the overall reliability and security of the network.  A more reliable system means AEMO will be better positioned to optimise NEM operations and keep down costs.  Consumers will benefit from more affordable energy, as more DER can be installed, at a lower cost to the network.

The full list of RIS Stage 1 actions and progress status can be accessed via the AEMO website.

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