The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has released its annual Summer Readiness Plan, with sufficient energy supply forecast across the National Electricity Market (NEM), but uncertainty remaining on the impact of COVID-19.
AEMO said the Plan was prepared in collaborations with State and Territory Governments, generation and transmission network providers, and key Agencies to actively manage heightened risks to power system operations.
Chief Operations Officer at AEMO, Michael Gatt said operating conditions for summer looked favourable with additional generation capacity, an expected reduction in maximum demand compared to last summer, and current generator outages expected to be completed before Christmas.
“We’re expecting less intense heatwave and bushfire conditions than last summer, but these still remain a prominent risk over this period,” Mr Gatt said.
“There is also an increased risk of tropical cyclones and flooding due to anticipated La Niña weather patterns,” he said.
“However, the NEM is in a more positive supply-demand position heading into the 2020/2021 summer, with no supply shortfalls in excess of the reliability standard projected.”
Mr Gatt said that as a precautionary measure, AEMO received expressions of interest for more than 1,900 MW of additional reserves through the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) panel function.
“These are used only if the market does not respond with enough supply or demand resources to meet the reliability standard or manage power system security incidents, such as the loss of multiple generation or transmission assets,” he said.
“In consultation with Governments, AEMO is entering into short notice panel agreements for RERT in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales.”
Mr Gatt said the panel agreements allowed AEMO to manage the risk of not meeting the reliability standard, without committing to reserve contracts or availability payments until they were needed.
AEMO’s 22-page Summer 2020-2021 Readiness Plan can be accessed at this PS News link.