AEMO to restore national energy market


From 4am Thursday morning, the market will once again set the price in Australia’s national electricity grid. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) announced the news today after taking the dire step of suspending the spot market last Wednesday.

Once market pricing has been restored, AEMO says it will monitor the conditions in the National Electricity Market (NEM) for 24 hours before making a final decision to formally lift the market suspension.

Before fully lifting the suspension, AEMO CEO Daniel Westerman said AEMO would expect to see:

  • the dispatch engine – the system used to schedule generation into the grid – operating without failure;
  • less need for AEMO to step in and direct power generators, instead seeing them respond to market signals;
  • and a reduction in forecast shortfalls of energy, or low reserves

Should these conditions be met, the suspension may soon lift entirely.

“By removing these conditions, we hope that the market will return to a normal bidding and dispatch situation – allowing the market to operate without major AEMO interventions and manual management of generation,” Westerman said.

AEMO also noted the return of 4000 MW of generation capacity, including several large thermal generators which had been unexpectedly offline due to failures, had eased the pressure on the electricity market.

The energy ministers from the states and territories in the National Energy Market, including New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania, have been briefed.

The operator did, however, note the situation remains “dynamic,” saying it will continue to monitor reserve conditions across all regions.

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