By 31 August each year, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) will identify any potential reliability gaps in each National Electricity Market (NEM) region in the coming five years using its Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO). If AEMO identifies a material gap three years and three months out, it will apply to the AER to trigger the Retailer Reliability Obligation (RRO) by making a reliability instrument.
On receipt of a request from AEMO, the AER has two months to consider whether to make a reliability instrument. In making its decision the AER must consult with stakeholders in accordance with the Reliability Instrument Guideline.
The AER will publish its decision, the reasons supporting that decision and if applicable, the reliability instrument. The reliability instrument takes effect once published on the AER's website.
The South Australian Minister also has the ability to trigger the RRO within South Australia. For reliability gaps before 1 July 2022 this can be done 15 months or more before the start of the identified gap and after that must be consistent with the timeframes set out in the National Electricity Rules (NER).