Whole of Australian National Electricity Market assessment of economic levels of transmission interconnection, intermittent generation and energy storage capacity


Whole of Australian National Electricity Market assessment of economic levels of transmission interconnection, intermittent generation and energy storage capacity

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  • Staff House Road
  • The University of Queensland
  • St Lucia, Queensland
  • Australia 4072
  • Building: Advanced Engineering Building No 49
  • Room Number: 502

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  • Starts 23 May 2018 09:51 AM
  • Ends 19 June 2018 09:51 AM
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Ian Rose of Ernst & Young


Whole of Australian NEM assessment of economic levels of transmission interconnection, intermittent gen and storage

The Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) has shown it will be capable of absorbing the level of new entry generation associated with the Large-scale Renewable Energy Target without significant new interconnection or new storages to absorb the variability of the intermittent renewables.  This is being achieved while meeting reliability and security constraints, and arguably as economically as a predominantly gas and coal grid could have, given that Australian coal and gas are priced at international levels, and Australia is amongst the largest coal and liquefied natural gas exporters in the world.


Why then should effort be applied to understanding the role of expanded interconnectors and storage schemes in a network that is not experiencing material levels of constraining off of generation or transmission congestion beyond that experienced in the past 20 years since the start of the electricity market?


The answer is that much of the coal generation fleet in Australia is expected to retire in the next 20 years, and most of the replacement energy is likely to come from solar and wind generation on the basis of generation cost trends, and policy initiatives such as the National Energy Guarantee.  The effectiveness of planned emissions reductions while meeting reliability guarantees needs to be tested and the policy and planning levers put in place.  This necessitates applying a broad range of planning and engineering tools that are fit for purpose, from long range planning to detailed electromagnetic transient modelling.


So why is it appropriate to develop, run and analyse very large software packages to assess a large system such as the NEM over a very long time horizon?  The answer is partially that the market does not necessarily bring forth the ideal combination of transmission development and generation development to provide a fully competitive market, which is the objective of the market as implemented.  Transmission, in the main, is considered a regulated asset, which must be paid for by savings in costs to consumers.  Since the market does not provide such signals, the authorised entities such as the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and Transmission Network Service Providers (TNSPs) must do so.


The presentation will consider the task of answering the questions as to the mix of interconnection and storage to a level sufficient for the nation to be confident of a smooth transition to renewable energy over the next decades. The presentation will also touch on the computational requirements and skilled personnel needed to deliver a meaningful assessment.


Ian Rose graduated from University of Queensland with B.E. Hons in 1971 and M.Eng.Sc. in 1973, and PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada in 1977.


He began his career in North Queensland in operations of hydro and coal-fired generation, and high voltage transmission. He focussed on frequency control problems associated with the small hydro-thermal power system powering large draglines for coal extraction.  After completing his studies in High Voltage dc transmission, he spent several years in transmission planning with the Queensland Electricity Generation Board, developing power flow methods for system planning and conducting overvoltage studies using EMTP. During that period he conducted commissioning tests for the first 275kV interconnection integrating southern and northern Queensland.


From 1980, he was responsible for developing and commissioning power system software to dispatch the Queensland electricity grid from the new state wide control centre at Mansfield (which later became the AEMO northern control centre).  From 1984, he was appointed as Generation Dispatch engineer during a period of rapid growth which included commissioning the Wivenhoe pumped storage and Tarong coal fired stations.


In 1988, he was appointed as Generation Studies engineer with the Queensland Electricity Commission and spent six years planning fuel supplies for new power stations including Stanwell coal fired station and conducting reliability assessments using in-house developed Monte Carlo reliability and production software.  Prior to and during the sale of Gladstone power station, he conducted long term modelling of the future plant mix for Queensland to assist in valuing the station. He was also the Queensland representative on the Interconnection Operating Committee examining the benefits of interconnection between Queensland and the southern states.


Following corporatisation of the electricity sector in the mid-1990’s he became Planning Manager and Executive General Manager of the Queensland Generation Corporation, trading as Austa Electric.  He was responsible for planning and design of a number of power stations that were subsequently commissioned including Callide C, Kogan Creek, Tarong North and Swanbank E.


Following the start of the electricity market in December 1998, he resigned and co-founded ROAM Consulting, a specialist electricity market modelling company focussed on supplying services to the nascent electricity market.  This period included the development of a proprietary market forecasting product, 2-4-C®, which included production and reliability analysis, interfaced with a power flow model to derive marginal loss factors for all nodes in the NEM. ROAM Consulting grew to approximately 14 full time staff before being acquired by EY in 2014.


EY’s Energy Market Modelling team, formerly ROAM Consulting, provides a wide range of modelling services to regulators, market developers and operators, generation developers, transmission and distribution entities, retailers and other service providers.  Markets and grids covered include the NEM, WEM, Mount Isa, Pilbara, and several overseas countries.  EY has played a role in many major generation developments throughout Australia, and has approximately 25 full time energy market modelling staff in Brisbane, Sydney and Perth.