Transmission lines and wind turbine

AEMO and ElectraNet have today released an updated technical report investigating power system security in South Australia, as the state continues to lead the world with its high penetration of renewable generation.

The report finds that under normal operating conditions, i.e. with no equipment failure, the South Australian power system can continue to operate securely and reliably. The State’s stable electricity supply does however rely heavily on the transmission network connecting South Australia to Victoria remaining in service and uninterrupted.

“The power system is changing with the rise and uptake of emerging and renewable technologies, advances in battery storage, increasingly active consumer behaviour, and demand patterns continuing to shift and challenge traditional profiles,” said AEMO Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mr Matt Zema.

“The joint report with ElectraNet highlights the crucial need for power system support services, such as frequency control services, to maintain a secure and reliable power system. These support services can be provided via the Heywood Interconnector connecting Victoria to South Australia.

“Traditionally, large conventional synchronous generators have inherently provided power system support services, such as frequency and voltage control. With some large synchronous generators exiting the market, especially in South Australia, these power system support services will need to be sourced by other means,” said Mr Zema.

As the transmission network service provider for South Australia, ElectraNet works closely with AEMO to maintain power system security.

“The ability to maintain system frequency at around 50Hz is critical to maintaining power system security. Frequency control support services provide a fast injection of energy, or fast reduction in energy to balance supply and demand and thereby maintain frequency within acceptable limits following a power system event or incident,” said ElectraNet Executive Manager Asset Management Mr Rainer Korte.

“ElectraNet is exploring potential network solutions to help address the emerging challenges of the changing generation mix, including a new high capacity interconnector between South Australia and the eastern states and the potential role of grid-scale electrical storage,” said Mr Korte.

The joint report highlights a number of operational measures implemented over the last 18 months to address the short term challenges of operating South Australia’s power system securely if it is disconnected from the rest of the National Electricity Market.

“The report also illustrates the need to begin looking at efficient and sustainable solutions with at least a 10 year outlook,” said Mr Zema.

AEMO has formed an industry reference group – the Power System Implications Technical Advisory Group – to provide input towards a comprehensive issues list with a long term outlook. The group met for the first time in early December 2015, and includes nominated representatives from conventional generators, retailers, transmission and distribution businesses, the Clean Energy Council, the Standing Committee of Officials (SCO), the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), and the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

AEMO will continue to work closely with a vast range of stakeholders to protect the power system’s stability throughout this transformational change in generation mix.


Media Enquiries
Name: Joshua Zugajev
Telephone: +61 8 8404 7436

About Us
ElectraNet provides energy and infrastructure solutions across Australia. We own and operate over $2.5 billion of electricity transmission assets that transport electricity over long distances and to remote areas.  A critical part of the electricity supply chain, ElectraNet’s transmission network delivers safe and reliable electricity supply. Our transmission costs make-up less than 10% of end-user electricity prices.

Back to News