Evolving Electricity Systems: Upcoming technical challenges, and how to address them

The Australian National Electricity Market is in an unprecedented rapid transition.

Growth in non-synchronous and variable generation types (such as wind and PV), displacing firm synchronous generation (such as coal and gas), creates novel power system security challenges. Furthermore, the rapid growth in distributed photovoltaics and storage will bring an even more dramatic change to the operation of the power system.

Despite the rapid changes, the fundamental objectives of the power system remain the same. Consumers want affordable access to electricity and gas at all times. AEMO’s role is to ensure effective and efficient operation of the electricity and gas systems and markets across Australia.

This presentation will summarise some of the new operational challenges likely to arise over the next few years, and the technical work that needs to be delivered to manage them.

The focus will be on areas where collaborative work with universities and other stakeholders may be of greatest benefit.

Areas include:

  • Frequency control (especially around emergency frequency control schemes such as under frequency load shedding)
  • Voltage control (including management of transmission voltages during periods with almost all generation provided by rooftop photovoltaics)
  • System restoration (and the management of distributed resources during system restoration)
  • System strength (including emerging potential issues at the distribution level)
  • Understanding the behaviour of distributed resources during power system disturbances


Dr Jenny Riesz is a Principal at AEMO, in the Operational Analysis & Engineering team.

Her work program focuses on identifying and quantifying emerging power system security challenges, and work programs to address them. Her present focus is around the integration of distributed energy resources, and the technical challenges that will arise as larger quantities of distributed PV and storage are installed. 

Previous work includes analysis around frequency control and the impacts of declining synchronous generation, increasing power system risks related to rate of change of frequency and system strength.

Prior to working at AEMO, Jenny was a research associate at the University of New South Wales, leading work around 100% renewable power systems. She was formerly a consultant at AECOM and ROAM Consulting, delivering work on electricity market modelling. Her PhD was in biophysics, studying the quantum and spectroscopic properties of melanin skin pigment.

Date & time

11am–1pm 24 Oct 2018



Dr Jenny Riesz



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