AGL Broken Hill Solar Plant

Sector: 
Segment: 
Category: 
Enforceable undertaking
Release date: 
2 November 2022
Related provisions: 

Rule 4.15 and clause 5.2.5 of the National Electricity Rules

Overview

On 25 October 2022, the Australian Energy Regulator accepted a court enforceable undertaking from 5 AGL related entities, AGL Energy Limited, AGL PARF NSW Pty Limited, AGL HP 1 Pty Ltd, AGL HP 2 Pty Ltd, and AGL HP 3 Pty Ltd (AGL) in relation to the operation of the Broken Hill Solar Plant.

This follows AGL self-reporting to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) that the plant was non-compliant with its Generator Performance Standard (GPS). Modelling had been undertaken which showed that, under certain conditions, it was possible that the Broken Hill Solar Plant would not meet its GPS concerning frequency control matters. AGL approached the AER in March 2022 and offered a court enforceable undertaking to resolve this non-compliance. 

With GPS compliance considered a critical factor for AEMO to manage power system security, particularly during the energy transition, the court Enforceable Undertaking provides prescriptive steps and timelines for AGL to rectify the non-compliance.

The AER accepted AGL’s offer of a court Enforceable Undertaking as the most appropriate way to address the issue after considering the circumstances, including the self-reporting by AGL and a lack of relative harm from the alleged conduct. The AER has a range of enforcement outcomes at its disposal, ranging from Enforceable Undertakings and Infringement Notices to instituting court proceedings. It is important that market participants who identify non-compliances should approach the AER early to resolve these issues.

The AER also worked closely with AEMO and the relevant transmission network service provider, TransGrid, to ensure the acceptability of the Enforceable Undertaking.