New electricity frequency set

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The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) must keep the power system stable and securely operating at a frequency close to 50 hertz under the national electricity rules.

The AEMC’s Reliability Panel set a new frequency operating standard (FOS) for the national electricity market that gives clearer guidance on how frequency should be controlled during extreme events.

The specific frequency requirements that AEMO must meet under different power system conditions are set out in the frequency operating standard, which is determined by the Reliability Panel.

The review of the FOS is investigating the appropriateness of the settings in the standard, in light of the ongoing energy market transformation as conventional synchronous generation leaves the market and non-synchronous generation such as wind and solar panels enters the market.  

The Panel is undertaking the review of the FOS in a staged manner.  

The final determination and FOS represents the conclusion of stage one of the FOS review.

The new FOS made differs from the current FOS in a number of key ways, including:

  • the inclusion of a FOS for protected events
  • a revised requirement relating to multiple contingency events
  • a revised definition of ‘generation event’
  • the revision of the definitions in the FOS relating to island operation
  • a revised limit for accumulated time error in the mainland.

Stage two will consider the various components of the frequency operating standard, including the settings of the frequency bands and time requirements for maintenance and restoration of system frequency.

Stage two will commence when the Frequency control frameworks review is further progressed.   

This will allow the Panel to take into account the AEMC’s considerations on whether:

  • mandatory governor response requirements should be introduced
  • existing frequency control arrangements remain fit for purpose
  • frequency control ancillary services (FCAS) markets are appropriately structured.

The review is an integrated part of the AEMC’s system security work program to address the implications for power system security as the energy market transforms.

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