The NSW Government has appointed the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as the Energy Security Target (EST) Monitor for the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap, under the Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020 (EII Act).
Under the appointment, AEMO is responsible for calculating and setting a 10-year energy security target for NSW. This target is designed to provide market certainty as it ensures there will be reliable supplies of electricity available to meet demands over the medium term.
AEMO is also responsible for assessing and monitoring whether the firm capacity (generation, firming and storage, transmission capacity) is sufficient to meet the energy security target under different scenarios.
NSW Government response to Energy Security Target Monitor Reports
The Energy Security Target lets the energy market know how much new infrastructure the NSW Government expects we will require to meet our energy needs.
The Energy Security Target Monitor (ESTM) Report shows the amount of reliable electricity needed in NSW to service maximum consumer demand. For example, the report would accommodate for a summer heatwave plus a buffer.
AEMO provides regular Energy Security Target Monitor Reports.
The ESTM Report defines the Energy Security Target for the next 10 financial years. In doing so, it also considers:
- the amount of reliable energy needed to meet demand
- any anticipated shortfalls and recommends actions to take in the event of any shortfalls over the medium term.
Read the latest report at ESTM Report October 2022
The most recent Energy Security Target Monitor Report was released in October 2022. This report gives a current view of NSW’s dynamic energy market with updated inputs and assumptions.
The October 2022 Report shows that with targeted action, NSW is on track to meet the Energy Security Target over the next 10 years.
You can read previous reports below:
Consistent with the May 2022 report, the October 2022 Report highlights the fact that additional action is necessary to ensure a reliable electricity supply following the retirement of Eraring power station.
Some of the targeted action already taken to address this potential shortfall of electricity includes:
- Directing the Consumer Trustee to tender for long-term energy service agreements for firming infrastructure. This infrastructure can store and dispatch energy when there is a sudden increase in demand and could include batteries and gas-peaking generators.
- Delivering the Waratah Super Battery as a network standby battery. This super battery provides virtual transmission network services, which gives more flexibility and access to more energy from existing generators.
Based on the very strong market response to the Waratah Super Battery expression of interest, both processes are expected to be highly sought after and contested.
Preparation for upcoming firming infrastructure tender process
The NSW Office of Energy and Climate Change anticipates that at least 350 MW of firming infrastructure located in the Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong sub-region, operational by Summer 2025-26, is necessary to mitigate risks to meeting the Energy Security Target.
The Consumer Trustee will now prepare the required Infrastructure Investment Objectives Report, expected to be published by November 2022, which will outline the firming pathway, including determining the size and timing of tenders.
The tender will be open to all firming infrastructure technologies, but consistent with the Government’s objective of net zero emissions by 2050, successful projects will be required to have an emissions intensity lower than the most recent NSW grid average and achieve net zero scope 1 emissions by 2035. This can be achieved by purchasing and voluntarily surrendering offsets.
NSW Government commitment to deliver the Waratah Super Battery
To ensure NSW continues to have reliable energy supply following the closure of the Eraring Power Station, the NSW Government will procure a 700MW/1400MWh grid battery. This battery - called the ‘Waratah Super Battery’ - will be the largest network standby battery in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Waratah Super Battery, together with other minor transmission upgrades, will allow Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong consumers to access more energy from existing electricity generation.
How the Waratah Super Battery will support reliable energy supply
Electricity supply to Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong comes through several transmission lines from the north, west and south of NSW.
These transmission lines connect electricity consumers to electricity generation and have capacity limits on how much energy they can safely carry at any one time.
Currently, some of this capacity is kept in reserve to ensure the line stays within its technical limits in case there is a ‘shock’ to the system, such as a lightning strike or bushfire.
The Waratah Super Battery will act as a ‘shock absorber’ for the electricity grid, removing the need to hold transmission capacity in reserve so that transmission can be used to transfer additional energy to consumers from existing generation.