AEMO removes suspension, restores wholesale power markets in all Australian regions

The wholesale electricity market was suspend on 15 June after a loss of almost 5GW of capacity offer. Image: Neoen Solar

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has lifted the wholesale power market suspension in all regions of the National Electricity Market (NEM) from 2pm today (AEST), after intervening more than a week ago.

The reduction of electricity shortfalls and fewer manual interventions from AEMO were among the reasons for a return to regular operations today.

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On Wednesday 15 June, AEMO suspended the country’s spot market and issued direct interventions to 5GW of generation capacity the day before and set a AU$300/MWh (US$207.2/MWh) price cap in the states of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia after reaching the high price threshold.

Australia has been facing an increase of the electricity market price since the beginning of the year, which reached a level in Q1 2022 not seen since 2019, as well as winter conditions that have pushed up the demand for gas and electricity in many regions.

“The current energy challenge in eastern Australia is the result of several factors across the interconnected gas and electricity markets. This includes periods of high electricity demand, coupled with a large volume of generation unavailable due to maintenance or unplanned events, planned transmission outages and high energy commodity prices,” AEMO said.

After the victory of the Labor party in the country’s recent elections, the solar sector in Australia is poised to grow significantly after the incoming government vowed to turn Australia into a “renewables superpower” by increasing renewables investment and upgrading the country’s grid infrastructure.

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