Issue date
AER reference
NR 46/22

Hornsdale Power Reserve (HPR) in South Australia’s mid-north has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay a $900,000 penalty after admitting to breaches of the National Electricity Rules related to providing back-up contingency services to the grid in 2019.

Between July and November 2019, HPR made offers to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to provide contingency frequency control ancillary services (FCAS), which are used to keep the lights on following a power disturbance in the grid.

HPR admitted it would have been unable to comply with its offers and provide those services during that period, despite being paid to do so.

AER Chair Clare Savage welcomed the penalty as sending an important message to the whole market at a time when many new operators are connecting to the grid.

“It is vital that market participants do what they say they can do if we’re going to keep the lights on through our market’s rapid transition to more variable renewable generation,” Ms Savage said.

“It’s what is expected by every household, small and large business across Australia when they pay their electricity bills.

“AEMO relies on accurate information and compliance with offers and dispatch instructions to ensure it can effectively stabilise frequency deviations.”

The AER’s Contingency FCAS Compliance Bulletin assists FCAS participants in understanding their obligations when offering and delivering FCAS into the market.

HPR made admissions and made joint submissions with the AER on penalty.