The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has issued warnings about the coming summer.

AEMO’s 2018 Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) projects a heightened risk of involuntary load shedding in Victoria and South Australia for the upcoming summer, in the absence of further action.

“The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a hotter and drier summer which, coupled with other risks we have identified, suggest we have a challenging summer awaiting us,” AEMO said.

“But while we know that unexpected events can and do happen, particularly when the power system is under pressure and most prone to failure, AEMO is confident the plans we have made and the targeted actions we have taken in collaboration with the wider energy industry and governments, have appropriately equipped us to tackle any unforeseeable events the upcoming summer might bring,” said AEMO Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Audrey Zibelman.

AEMO has sourced up to 930 megawatts of off-market reserves through the Reliability and Emergency Trader (RERT) mechanism.

This initiative enables the operator to have sufficient resources to manage potential high risk scenarios that typically occur in summer, such as extreme or extended heatwaves, bushfires and/or unplanned infrastructure outages.

Beyond this summer, AEMO is expecting almost 6,000 megawatts of new wind and solar to be operational in the next two years, which will alleviate the short-term risk of involuntary load shedding during summer peak periods.

However, mid to longer term strategic planning and resource investment, such as those outlined in AEMO’s Integrated System Plan, will be necessary to not only manage the power system during peak summer periods, but also to ensure ongoing reliability and stability of Australia’s power system throughout the year.