Instituted civil proceedings
Release date

On 26 August 2019, the AER instituted proceedings in the Federal Court against Pelican Point Power Limited (PPPL), for alleged contraventions of the National Electricity Rules (NER) in relation to its Pelican Point Power Station.

The proceedings concern events on 8 February 2017 when South Australia experienced a Lack of Reserve Level 3 (LOR3) scenario, as a result of high demand and diminishing supply due to heat wave conditions. This resulted in the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) needing to interrupt 100 MW of customer load in order to maintain power system security.

The AER alleges that PPPL contravened the NER by failing to notify AEMO that it had physical plant capability that could be made available on 24 hours’ notice. As a result, until late in the afternoon of 8 February 2017, AEMO was unaware it had the ability to issue a direction to PPPL to make the full capacity of the power station available. This impaired AEMO’s ability to manage power system security.

The AER is seeking declarations, pecuniary penalties and costs.

The provision of accurate and timely information to AEMO is one of the AER’s compliance and enforcement priorities for 2019-20.

Accurate information regarding generator availability is essential for AEMO to be aware of the generating capacity that is or may be available in each region of the National Electricity Market so that it can maintain the security of the power system and, if necessary, issue appropriate directions to ensure that security.