Infringement notices issued to ENGIE and enforceable undertaking - failure to follow dispatch instructions and related obligations

Sector: 
Segment: 
Category: 
Enforceable undertaking
Infringement notice
Release date: 
19 July 2018
Related provisions: 

Clauses 4.9.8(a) and 4.9.2(d) of the National Electricity Rules.

Event date: 
1 December 2016
Outcome: 

Enforceable undertaking and three infringement notices issued with total infringement penalties of $60 000.

Overview

Clause 4.9.8(a) of the National Electricity Rules (NER) requires registered participants to follow dispatch instructions issued by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) unless to do so would, in the participant’s reasonable opinion, be a hazard to public safety or materially risk damaging equipment. Clause 4.9.2(d) requires scheduled generators or semi scheduled generators, when they submit dispatch offers with an availability greater than 0 MW availability, to ensure that appropriate personnel are available at all times to respond to receive and immediately act upon dispatch instructions.

The AER issued three infringement notices to Synergen Energy, the registered participant responsible for the Dry Creek Power Station in South Australia, because it had reason to believe that Synergen Energy failed to comply with clause 4.9.8(a) by not following dispatch instructions issued to the Dry Creek generating units on multiple occasions on 1 December 2016. Synergen Energy is part of a group of companies trading as ENGIE in Australia.

Synergen Energy paid a total infringement penalty of $60 000 on 6 July 2018. Synergen Energy’s Australian parent, International Power (Australia) Holdings Pty Ltd, has also put in place various measures to improve compliance with clauses 4.9.8(a) and 4.9.2(d), and has offered court-enforceable undertakings to continue to do so. These measures include additional support to traders when working from home, revised processes around the operation of Dry Creek and ongoing training for staff regarding NER obligations.

Update

On 14 January 2019, the AER approved ENGIE’s request to vary the court-enforceable undertaking that ENGIE offered in July 2018. The variation adjusts paragraphs 29 and 30 to reflect ENGIE’s new software arrangements.