Primary Frequency Response (PFR)

This page will be progressively fleshed out.

What’s here currently is just a quick sketch…

Key Stages Brief discussion

Early Days of the NEM

In the early days of the NEM, generators typically provided primary frequency control as a standard part of connecting to the NEM.

Following the implementation of the FCAS markets

For various reasons (including the incentives in place following the establishment of FCAS markets) generators began disconnecting their governor controls.  For many years this led to the Regulation FCAS services being the only services used to keep system frequency inside its normal operating range.

Kate Summers shared three articles on WattClarity speaking about the challenges that this development had posed – on 23rd March 2017, on 28th August 2018 and 25th October 2019.


Establishing mandatory PFR

On 26th March 2020 the AEMC made a final rule determination to establish a mandatory Primary Frequency Response arrangement in the NEM.


On 6th November 2020, Allan O’Neil wrote ‘What’s PFR and why does it matter anyway?’, and this article might be particularly useful for some readers seeking to understand more.

On 14th May 2021, Paul McArdle shared ‘Observations on differences in system frequency in the Mainland NEM’ – by comparing frequency traces in 2019 and 2021 to show the effect of several initiatives, including Primary Frequency Response.

Moving to a more sustainable 

On 17th December 2020, the AEMC published a Directions Paper on ‘Frequency Control Rule Changes’ that sought to establish an arrangement.

This paper considers two different, but related, measures for frequency support:

1)   Primary Frequency Response (PFR)

2)  Fast Frequency Response (FFR).




Through the blog section of WattClarity some articles have been tagged with Primary Frequency Control, rather than Primary Frequency Response.