AEMO gearing up for a 1 in 10 year challenging summer
AEMO's newly released 2023-24 Summer Readiness Overview report outlines preparations for expected weather conditions, energy system readiness, and contingencies to ensure electricity reliability in Australia's main power systems.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) collaborates with various stakeholders, including generation and transmission businesses, federal and state governments, and key agencies, to manage risks in the National Electricity Market (NEM) and the Western Australian South West Interconnected System (SWIS).
The summer forecast predicts hot and dry El Niño conditions, increasing the risk of bushfires and extreme heat, potentially leading to electricity demand reaching a 1-in-10-year high in the eastern states and Western Australia.
According to Michael Gatt, AEMO Executive General Manager Operations, extensive planning with industry and governments has been undertaken to prepare for a potential summer of extreme demand.
Compared to the previous summer, the NEM will have an additional 1,500 megawatts (MW) of scheduled generation and an extra 2,000 MW of generation capacity from new wind and solar projects. In the Western Australian Electricity Market (WEM), nearly 50 MW of extra scheduled generation is expected.
AEMO has identified periods where electricity reliability thresholds are at risk in the NEM and SWIS this summer. To procure additional reserves to address these risks, AEMO is using the Interim Reliability Reserve and Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) in the NEM, and the Supplementary Reserve Capacity mechanism in Western Australia.
The increase in generation availability and additional reserves are aimed at navigating potential reliability pressures during periods of high demand. AEMO has also conducted extensive briefings and emergency exercises to test contingency plans and communication processes ahead of the summer season.