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Technical Rules Review 2021 - online information sessions

To support the State Government’s Energy Transformation Strategy, Western Power is proposing amendments to the Technical Rules to facilitate a smooth implementation of the transformation. 

The Energy Transformation Strategy aims to ensure the delivery of secure, reliable, sustainable and affordable electricity to Western Australians for years to come. 

The electricity sector is undergoing change driven by the widespread uptake of customer owned rooftop PV systems, changes in the generation mix towards more renewable generation and new technologies such as energy storage solutions, stand-alone power systems and microgrids.

The Technical Rules consists of technical requirements for the planning, design, operation and performance of the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), including performance and technical specifications for user equipment connections to the network. The rules facilitate the secure and reliable supply of power to the community.

Since the Technical Rules began on 1 July 2007, changes and updates to the rules have been infrequent and relatively minor except for a mandatory review under section 12.56 of the Access Code in 2011.

In summary, the proposed changes to the Technical Rules will ensure:

  • alignment with the Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) Rules changes (e.g. Frequency Operating Standards, Underfrequency Load Shedding, Operating States and Credible Contingency)
  • clarity around microgrids and standalone power systems around the performance users can expect when supplied under these arrangements
  • updates and further clarification on:
    • the governance of exemptions between WEM Rules and Technical Rules
    • compliance obligations for Western Power and Users
    • the application of grandfathering provisions to avoid the systematic reduction in grid capability
    • obligations relating to the provision of information
    • performance standards Western Power is required to meet
    • generator and load modelling requirements
    • network planning criteria
  • simplified protection requirements and updated remote monitoring and control arrangements
  • a more robust commissioning framework and enhanced guidance for testing and inspection

Western Power’s submission to the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) (July 2021)

As part of the Technical Rules review process, customers were able to provide input into the proposed amendments prior to 30 June 2021, to ensure that any changes to user obligations were fair, reasonable and fit for purpose.

On 30 July 2021, we submitted the proposed amended Technical Rules to the ERA.  

The ERA has commenced its formal consultation process of our proposal and will be publishing an issues paper inviting submissions, where all users will have another opportunity to provide feedback, in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions about the Technical Rules, please contact us.

Technical Rules 2021 – Customer forums

To continue our support and collaboration with industry and the community, we held two online information and feedback sessions.

Technical Rules 2021 - Session 1

This session covered:

  • The changes and impacts from section 3.3 which has been amended to reflect the changes in the WEM Rules regarding the Generator Performance Standards, including ideal and negotiated levels of compliance. This will remove the need for exemptions and customers will have an increased opportunity to negotiate their level of performance, where applicable; and
  • Changes within Chapters 1, 2 and 4 - including Network Planning Criteria, Inspection Testing and commissioning requirements.

Note: The Generator Performance Standards (GPS) under the Technical Rules are kept consistent with that in the Wholesale Electricity Market Rules (WEM Rules) and any changes in the WEM Rules GPS will be adopted in the Technical Rules.”

Relevant to: 

  • New Connections (or existing connections that are making modifications) (>5MVA).
  • Large distribution connected and transmission connected not covered by the WEM Rules (>5MVA).

Technical Rules 2021 - Session 2

This session covered changes and impacts from sections 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8, such as:

  • Revisions to the total generation limit of sections
  • New chapter simplifying requirements for LV <1MVA generators
  • Simplified protection requirements for generators
  • Extra guidelines providing more details around the use and application of Technical Rules and
  • A new guideline providing new export limits imposed for some generators.

Changes within Chapters 1, 2 and 4 - including Network Planning Criteria, Inspection Testing and commissioning requirements.

Relevant to: 

  • New Connections (or existing connections that are making modifications)
  • <5MW generation including LV and MV connections, incorporating requirements for inverter embedded generation.

By working together, we’ll continue to ensure that Western Australia remains at the forefront of the changing energy landscape and continues to deliver a brighter energy future for the community.

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