My recent presentation: “Power system control or market control of a power system”

On Wednesday 15th August 2018 I was happy to speak at University of Melbourne’s Climate and Energy College about a topic that I see as a very important one to the ongoing stability of the electricity grid (and hence to the continuation of the energy transition).

As I note during my presentation, it seems to me that we have moved from centralised planning but distributed control, to a market with decentralised planning but centralised control.  This is apparent, for instance, in market provisions for ancillary services.  I am not sure that we all understand the implications of this.

Readers at Wattclarity might also appreciate this presentation, which follows on from my article about Fast Frequency Response posted in March 2017:


This presentation is also provided here on the College’s website.


About our Guest Author


Kate is the Manager of Electrical Engineering at Pacific Hydro, which she has been with for over 12 years. She has previously held positions within the Clean Energy Council, the Australian Wind Energy Association and NEMMCO (now AEMO).

She specialises in technical regulation issues with renewable energy in the NEM and power system engineering.

You can find Kate on LinkedIn here.

4 Comments on "My recent presentation: “Power system control or market control of a power system”"

  1. Thanks Kate, I have been following your conversation on this topic since I saw a presentation of yours in 2017.

    Obviously the deadbands need to be set and prioritised correctly and I hope that your advice is acted on in record time.

    I have two very minor critiques, pleased accept them in good spirit!

    1. You referred to renewable intermittency a couple of times when referring to frequency, and seemed to imply that intermittency applies to poor frequency control. In my experience the term intermittency applies more often to weather dependent generation capacity, not so much frequency control capability.

    2. You mentioned FCAS contingency market and spinning reserve, and obviously you are correct that a generator has to have some spare capacity in order to increase active power output to manage frequency, but my pedantic nature forces me to point out that there is actually no market for spinning reserve for generation capacity.

    Ok, thanks for listening, looking forward to some proper governor control soon!

  2. Thanks Watt Clarity for your excellent blog. This may interest evertyone as I stumbled onto this website last night. Looks like this idea has been a long time coming….. they talk about a ‘reverse ebay style’ auction to help drive down energy prices. Looks interesting.

  3. AEMO final report is out 10 Jan 2019. Eight recommendations, the first and most obvious / important being to reinstate primary frequency control.—SA-Separation-25-August-2018-Incident-Report.pdf

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