Operational conditions released as AEMO’s Engineering Framework takes shape

3 min

AEMO’s Engineering Framework has taken another important step in preparing for all futures captured in the Integrated System Plan (ISP) with the release of the Operational Conditions Summary.

Increasing decarbonisation and decentralisation of generation sources is leading to the biggest transformation in the history of the National Electricity Market (NEM) power system.

AEMO Manager of Future Energy Systems, Chris Davies, said that the recent focus has been on identifying operational conditions based on generation mix and loading combinations five to 10 years in the future that necessitate changes to current operational practices.

“Since December 2020, AEMO has been working with the energy sector to develop an ‘Engineering Framework’ to together plan for an orderly transition of the NEM to ensure we’re addressing the most urgent issues.”

In April, AEMO hosted more than 100 participants at an all-industry workshop to discuss the Engineering Framework and identify potential operational conditions. Based on feedback from this workshop, AEMO developed six draft operational conditions which were tabled for discussion at stakeholder workshops held in June.

 Participants including network service providers, market bodies and market participants responded positively, confirming that the six operational conditions presented by AEMO were robust, while adding some additional refinements.

“As an industry, we need to be ready for the first time these conditions arise. Successful planning for the first occurrences of these conditions will mean the NEM power system is better prepared for all futures captured in the ISP,” Mr Davies said.

 Six operational conditions

 The six selected conditions in the Operational Conditions Summary include:

  1. Fewer synchronous generators online
  2. Ubiquitous rooftop solar
  3. Extensive grid-scale VRE
  4. Structural demand shifts
  5. Responsive demand
  6. Widespread energy storage

“Operational conditions are a tool to inform the next stage of the Engineering Framework – identifying gaps and opportunities between the work in progress and what will be needed to fully prepare for each operational condition,” Mr Davies said.

“The outcomes of this process will have tangible impacts on the fundamental design and operation of the future NEM power system, meaning effective consultation across the energy industry is needed,” he said.

AEMO will bring forward draft gaps and opportunities and develop them with industry over the coming months in small group sessions, with the aim of providing draft action roadmaps in December 2021.

AEMO is keen to hear from stakeholders on how they would like to be involved. To sign up to our mailing list, please contact FutureEnergy@aemo.com.au. If you would like to learn more about the Engineering Framework, please visit the AEMO website.

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