NSW LOR and AEMO request for Generator Recall information

Yesterday, Tuesday 29 October 2019, AEMO issued a Market Notice requesting Generator Recall information from participants in the NSW region.

This was issued at 15:27 on Tuesday 29 October 2019, and came after numerous Lack of Reserve notices, the first of which was at 1103 hrs forecasting a LOR 2 for Wednesday 30 October 2019.



Notice ID                          70782

Notice Type ID                 RECALL GEN CAPACITY

Notice Type Description  MARKET

Issue Date                       29 October 2019

External Reference                    Request for Generator Recall Information for the period from 0730 hrs to 1230 hrs 30/10/2019 for Region NSW



Please provide Generator Recall Information for the period from 0730 hrs to 1230 hrs 30/10/2019, by 19:00 hrs on 29/10/2019 via the Generator Recall communication system, in accordance with the SO_OP_3719 Procedure for Submitting Generator Outage Recall Information.

SO_OP_3719 Procedure for Submitting Generator Outage Recall Information is available at:


Manager NEM Real Time Operations

The background in the lead up to this are the forced outages at the NSW coal fired power stations. This time of year is part of “outage season” where thermal power stations schedule their planned maintenance outages, otherwise known as overhauls, which are planned years in advance.  Some of the units out service appeared to be on overhaul, but many were not.

As at Saturday Morning 26 October, there were six Units out of service in NSW:

  • Eraring1
  • Eraring 3
  • Bayswater 4
  • Liddell 2
  • MT piper 1
  • MT Piper 2

A little explanation of each:

  • Eraring 1 – out of service from 25 September with reasons including Forced Limitations, Plant Conditions – ID fan issues. Assumed to be a forced outage.
  • Eraring 3 – last ran on 24 August, shutting down shortly after a period of flame testing.
  • Liddell 2 – Heavily reduced in capacity before coming off on 19 October, but not many rebids referring to what the plant conditions were, however in the bid from the previous day they had planned for it to come off on the 19th. This is a little grey; Assume an unplanned maintenance outage.
  • Bayswater Unit 4 – judging by the way it was bid on the day it last ran, the 1 August, it looks like a planned outage.
  • Vales Point was the only NSW coal fired power station in the last few weeks available to run at full capacity.

At 1030 hrs Saturday morning Bayswater Unit 3 tripped, and seems to have had a few complications as normally a return to service from a trip would be within a couple (2 to 3) hours.  But at 1900 hrs a rebid was submitted citing “auxiliary plant failure” which is enough information for a rebid, but quite vague in terms of telling us exactly what the issue was. However, suffice to say they had some issues. Then on Monday evening Unit 2 reduced to 400 MW, some 60% of their registered capacity, quoting “plant failure”.  They then nursed it until 1330 hrs yesterday afternoon when they took it off line.

That left just one Bayswater Unit out of four in service.

Over the last few months we have observed MT Piper, (two Units at 700 MW each), generating less and less. Often only generating with one Unit, and even then, at half capacity, and more recently both Units off completely.  From reading various reports the mine that supplies coal to the station are having difficulty delivering enough coal of reasonable quality to the station.  MT Piper have only been available to generate 12 days this month, the first 7 days of the month before bidding both Units unavailable on the 8th October, and then briefly running from the 22 to the 26 October.

So, yesterday we had:

  • Vales Point at 100% capacity
  • Liddell at 70 % capacity
  • Bayswater at 25% capacity
  • Eraring at 50% capacity
  • MT Piper at 0% capacity.

At at 1527 hrs AEMO released the Market Notice 70782 requesting generators to advise of any Recall Capacity to help them assess.

The Recall Generation request is a preliminary step AEMO take to help them assess whether they need to intervene in the market.

Section 1.1 from the SO_OP_3719 Procedure states

“When there are foreseeable circumstances which may require AEMO to intervene in the NEM, AEMO may initiate contact with Scheduled Generators to seek details of any capacity that can be recalled and the associated recall time. This is necessary for AEMO to determine a latest time to intervene in the absence of a market response, for the purposes of NER clause 4.8.5A. It is important for AEMO to obtain this information efficiently and in a quality assured manner within operational timeframes to provide an integrated picture to inform AEMO’s operational decisions.”

Section 3.1 states

“Where AEMO foresees that heightened risks to power system security or reliability of supply may require AEMO to intervene in the market, AEMO will publish a market notice under NER clause 4.8.5A(a). This notice is not a declaration of an AEMO intervention event, but of the forecast circumstances that might require AEMO to intervene.”

From 1100 hrs yesterday through to today there have been various market notices pointing to LRC conditions in NSW for 30 Oct and the 31 Oct.


It does not look like AEMO have given any participants a direction, as yet, but the reserves in NSW are pretty low right now.  Lucky demand is also low..

About our Guest Author

Nick Bartels is a Senior Consultant at Greenview Strategic Consulting.

Greenview Strategic Consulting was formed to provide specialist market advice to energy, government and community organisations in the complex domain of energy and critical infrastructure.

You can find Nick on LinkedIn here.

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