What is system security and reliability?
Security and reliability are terms used to discuss the strength and stability of the electricity grid, also known as an electric power ‘system’.
The security of an electricity grid is its technical resilience (or strength), namely its ability to quickly respond and remain stable when unexpected events occur. Examples of such events include generators breaking down or transmission lines failing. Reliability is the ability of an electric power system to deliver electricity in the quantity and quality demanded by energy users.
System security and reliability in Australia
In Australia, power system security and reliability is primarily the responsibility of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).
The growing share of renewable energy in the national electricity grid is producing technical challenges that must be overcome to maintain our power system’s security and reliability. Research has found that renewable technologies and services including generation, embedded networks and distributed assets, can provide solutions to the challenges they have created.
ARENA’s purpose is to accelerate Australia’s shift to affordable and reliable renewable energy. By connecting investment, knowledge and people to deliver energy innovation, we are helping to build the foundation of a renewable energy ecosystem in Australia.
One of ARENA’s funding priorities is therefore to identify and develop solutions that will protect the security and reliability of Australia’s electricity grid as it incorporates growing amounts of renewable energy.
ARENA is providing funding support to projects that are focused on proving how renewables can provide technical services that are critical to protecting grid security. These are known as Frequency Control Ancillary Services or FCAS (PDF 34KB).To read more about ARENA’s support for a range of FCAS trials and proof-of-concept demonstration projects using renewables visit our blog post: $7 million funding initiative for system security.
ARENA has identified and provided funding support for a range of projects developing renewable approaches to protect the reliability of Australia’s electricity supply. These include reducing or shifting energy demand to meet supply (see video below), improving information about electricity production and use, and developing ways to access or store renewable energy for use when it is needed.
We are also collaborating on projects with energy businesses to examine new ways to empower energy consumers that will deliver reliable renewable energy, and with policy makers to determine whether laws governing the electricity market should be changed to encourage reliable supply.
ARENA shares knowledge, insights and data from our funded projects to help the renewable energy industry and other projects learn from each other’s experiences. Our projects capture high-quality quantitative and qualitative data and information, linked with the needs of the market, while respecting our recipients’ commercial and contractual rights.
Relevant reports from our battery storage projects can be found in the ARENA Knowledge Bank
To support the transition to an electricity network that is increasingly powered by small-scale energy assets, ARENA has announced $9.6 million funding for 12 new projects and studies.Read more
South Australia’s energy network has been bolstered by the addition of the grid-scale ESCRI battery, which has celebrated its official connection to the National Energy Market.Read more