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New reforms and two new markets have been implemented into the National Electricity Market (NEM) by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) which aim to deliver a modern power system which can meet the country’s future energy needs. 

These reforms are part of AEMO’s NEM Reform Program, established to prioritise the efficient design and implementation market reforms in collaboration with industry as outlined in the reform implementation roadmap.

Additionally, through another NEM Reform initiative, Integrated Energy Storage Systems (IESS), the AEMO implemented Aggregated Dispatch Conformance (ADC), a new feature that enables participants with aggregate systems to dispatch energy from a combination of technology types.

Aside from these NEM reforms, the AEMO has also introduced a new Medium Term Projected Assessment of System Adequacy (MT PASA) interface to collect and publish critical information about scheduled generator availability, including reasons and timing, and unit recall time.

This initiative will improve the quality and transparency of information on generation availability, helping market participants make decisions about supply, demand and transmission network outages in the NEM.

Together, these changes, implemented across various NEM systems in collaboration with industry participants, have uplifted AEMO’s capacity to respond to the changing conditions in the energy system and support investment in an efficient resource mix.

AEMO Executive General Manager Reform Delivery, Violette Mouchaileh, said that these reforms delivered in the last few months support secure, reliable and affordable energy.

“We’ve been working with industry and governments to design and deliver new reforms that contribute to the stability and reliability of the changing electricity system,” Ms Mouchaileh said.

“In October, two ‘very fast’ Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) markets were launched, the first new markets since the NEM’s inception 25 years ago.

“To date, seven participants with 19 facilities have registered to provide Very Fast FCAS services to the NEM. These new services can be procured by AEMO within one second – much faster than the previous six second response.

“In an energy system increasingly challenged to maintain security and reliability with the growth of renewable energy sources, introducing these markets is expected to help keep the power system secure following sudden generation and power-system outages, while also incentivising investment in fast-acting, firming technology like batteries,” Ms Mouchaileh said.

“Co-located or aggregate systems – such as wind and solar, or solar and a battery – are becoming essential drivers of the energy transition due to their capacity to generate and store cheap and low-emissions energy,” Ms Mouchaileh said.

“This change has made it easier for participants with aggregate systems to manage and dispatch their energy in the most cost and energy efficient way, while also maximising the amount of cheap and sustainable energy flowing to consumers.”

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