Fast Start Inflexibility Parameters (FSIP)

In the Generator Statistical Digest 2019 (GSD2019) units were identified where they were registered with the AEMO as ‘Fast Start’ units as at* 31st December 2019.

* Note that generators can choose to change this registration status over time, hence it might be worth referring to future versions of the Generator Statistical Digest to see how they have changed.

(A)  What is ‘Fast Start’ mean, in relation to this category

Ordinarily, NEMDE solves the dispatch outcome of each dispatch interval discretely.  In other words, there is no ‘look ahead’ to determine an optimal outcome across multiple dispatch intervals.

‘Peaking plant’ operating in the NEM do not operate all of the time – that’s a different mode of operation than those traditionally called ‘Base Load’ (i.e. operate all the time, when available, because of low SRMC) and ‘Mid-Merit’ (i.e. operate most of the time, but cycle through the day to flex with demand).

Some of these ‘Peaking plant’ take longer than 5 minutes to start, and ramp up to full load.  In order to cater for plant limitations like this in the dispatch process, the ‘Fast Start’ category** was introduced into the NEM many years ago

**  though some might now point out this might be a misnomer in comparison to the faster response of newer types of plant, like batteries

When units register as Scheduled, they can register as Fast Start units. When they do this they must submit non-zero FSIP parameters for all Dispatch Intervals in their bids.

(B)  What are the ‘Fast Start Inflexibility Parameters’ (FSIP)

From a practical point of view, units inform AEMO of their desire to be dispatched as Fast Start by submitting
non-zero values for T1 to T4 in their bids. (Failure to do this will lead to the unit being dispatched as Slow):
• T1 = time to synchronise
• T2 = time to reach minimum load
• T3 = time required at minimum load
• T4 = time to shut down from minimum load

This figure (Figure 1 from the Process Description below) provides an illustration:


(C)  ‘Fast Start’ in the GSD2019

The ‘A’ pages within the GSD2019 highlights (for every unit) whether the unit has:
• been bid as Fast Start (T1 > 0) for the duration of 2019;
• been bid as Fast Start (T1 > 0) for part of the year but not for the whole of the year (T1 = 0); or
• not been bid as Fast Start at all through the year (either Non-Scheduled or Scheduled and T1 = 0).

(D)  For more information…

AEMO’s ‘Fast Start Inflexibility Profile’ Process Description from October 2014 provides further detail.