26 September 2023

Electricity supply to meet summer demand

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The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has forecast sufficient energy supply to meet reliability measures across the National Electricity Market through the coming summer.

Chief Operations Officer at AEMO, Michael Gatt said that each year, AEMO prepared a summer plan collaborating with generation owners and transmission network providers, Federal and State Governments and key Agencies to actively manage risks to power system operations.

Mr Gatt said AEMO’s Summer 2021-22 Readiness Plan found that operational forecasts were favourable heading into the first back-to-back La Niña summer conditions in a decade, but extreme weather events posed security risks.

“Similar to last summer, we’re expecting less intense heatwave and bushfire conditions,” Mr Gatt said.

“However, these risks remain, along with likely tropical cyclones and flooding due to anticipated La Niña weather patterns,” he said.

“An additional 2.6 gigawatts (GW) of small-scale solar generation and 2 GW of new grid-scale generation capacity have strengthened the reliability outlook, offsetting a number of generation units unavailable this summer.”

Mr Gatt said that under high rainfall conditions, the Morwell River Diversion in Victoria could flood and impact availability at the Yallourn Power Station.

He said AEMO was working with the Victorian Government to explore options that could help mitigate the risk.

“Despite a favourable reliability outlook, AEMO has received expressions of interest for more than 2,000 MW of emergency reserves through the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) panel function to reduce supply uncertainty,” he said.

“These panel agreements allow AEMO to manage the risk of not meeting the reliability standard, without committing to reserve contracts or availability payments until they are needed,” Mr Gatt said.

AEMO’s 23-page Summer Plan can be accessed at this PS News link.

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