The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) is well-known as the independent organisation that operates our national electricity market. In addition, this week it launched the AEMO Learning Academy to educate those with a vested interest in the technicalities of energy production and exchange.
These stakeholders include energy retailers, wind and solar energy companies, traders in energy futures and investors in new generators and transmission networks.
Some classes are free, some are online and some require in person attendance.
Key features of the AEMO Learning Academy
Key new features of the new Academy include:
- New-look National Electricity Market and gas eLearning courses.
- Course enrolment on behalf of colleagues.
- Enrolment and payment for more than one attendee at a time.
- Enrolment and payment for more than one course at a time.
Any courses previously completed with AEMO from 1 January 2019 will automatically be transferred to the new system.
There are online learning courses on the gas and electricity market overviews, as well as facilitator-led courses.
Both the online market overviews are free. Some facilitated courses are also free. The rest range in cost from $27 to $2,200.
For example, in October there is a free course in Perth that covers the basics of Western Australia’s electricity market.
National Electricity Market Overview
Over August and September, an all-day, $436, instructor-led National Electricity Market Overview course will take place in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart.
An AEMO Learning Academy initiative, attendees will learn:
- How the power system operates;
- What the processes involved in network planning include;
- How the wholesale market price is set and also what factors affect it;
- What ancillary services are used for and how are they priced;
- Why metering data is important to the way the NEM works; and
- Key decisions in the NEM – how are they made and by whom.
Meters and their importance to the NEM
At the top end of the price scale is the ‘Metrology for the NEM’ course at $2,200. This course is for staff of Meter Provider organisations who wish to gain AEMO accreditation and qualification to operate in the NEM.
The Sydney-based AEMO Learning Academy session will instruct attendees on:
- Their obligations, responsibilities and also the relevant regulatory requirements in the NEM;
- Operational and technical requirements associated with metering provision services;
- Metering installation metrology and performance management; and
- Testing and compliance.
AEMO piloting Australia’s energy future
AEMO’s role in planning and advising on the electricity grid is becoming increasingly important. This is because Australia lacks a federal policy to guide its energy future.
Apart from launching the AEMO Learning Academy earlier this month, AEMO warned that the impact of wind and rooftop solar, as well as large-scale solar farms, means Australia must reshape its energy grid.
This includes the need for more – and more robust – transmission lines in regional areas to then carry the additional power from solar and wind farms.
It also means battery storage, whether from large-scale electrochemical batteries, pumped hydro storage or other means, is crucial to the reliability of the electricity network.