Goal: Give South Australia greater local powers over national market operators and privately owned generators.
The State Government will legislate to ensure that South Australian energy users are not held hostage to unwarranted market behaviour.
The Minister for Energy will be given strong new powers to direct the national market in the case of an electricity supply shortfall.
Ministerial direction includes the ability to direct generators to operate and direct the Australian Energy Market Operator to control flow on the interconnector.
This will ensure every available option is activated to maintain the state’s electricity supply in an emergency situation or when market forces fail.
Drafting of new legislation will begin immediately. The Minister’s power will be used as a last-resort measure if the national market does not act in South Australia’s best interests.
Local assessment of generation applications
South Australia will require applicants for new electricity-generation projects to demonstrate how they add to local energy-system security.
The State Government will give powers to the Office of the Technical Regulator to assess applications for all generators above 5 megawatts.
The goal is to add stability to local power supplies by requiring developers to include power system security services as part of their projects in South Australia.
This move is part of the state’s development of the next generation of renewable energy.
This will complement the Essential Services Commission of South Australia’s decision to strengthen licence conditions for all new generators.
LATEST NEWS - APRIL 27, 2017
NEW POWERS OVER ELECTRICITY MARKET NOW IN PLACE
New State Government powers over the electricity market are now in place, putting effective control back in the hands of South Australians for the first time since the privatisation of ETSA.
The new laws were proclaimed by The Governor His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC at a meeting of the State’s Executive Council yesterday.
The powers mean that the South Australian Energy Minister can now direct electricity generators to turn on if there is a supply shortfall.
The Minister will also be able to direct the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to control flows across the interconnector with Victoria in order to better protect the South Australian grid.
The new laws are a cornerstone of the State Government’s plan to take charge of South Australia’s energy future.
The laws received bipartisan support in the Legislative Council earlier this month.
Currently, such action requires a meeting of the Executive Council and assent from the Governor of South Australia to declare a State of Emergency. These legislative changes will streamline the process so action can be taken within minutes, not hours.
The new powers will ensure every possible measure is taken to maintain the state’s electricity supply in an emergency situation or when market forces fail. The powers are for use as an option of last resort.
On 8 February, 90,000 South Australians were load-shed because AEMO inaccurately forecast electricity demand in the system and, when they realised their error, did not have enough time to direct available generation to turn on. AEMO directed 30,000 customers be load-shed, but when carrying out that direction, SA Power Networks erroneously load-shed an additional 60,000 customers.
Had available generation been directed to turn on, load-shedding would have been avoided.