The Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader explained - Flow Power

What is RERT?

The Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader explained

What is RERT?

The Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) is a mechanism set up by Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to maintain power system reliability and system security using reserve contracts. 

The initiative relies on demand response and is a great fit for businesses that can make changes to their operations. Businesses that are part of the RERT mechanism get paid to reduce their demand from the grid. This could mean switching to backup generators or reducing their consumption. AEMO will request participating businesses provide demand response at times when reserve power is needed. 

What are the benefits of participating in RERT?

Businesses that are eligible and participate when a RERT event is called, are financially compensated for their reduction in consumption from the grid. Because the costs of using the RERT are recovered from energy users, participating businesses can also simultaneously benefit from participating by minimising their exposure to these associated RERT recovery charges.  

Businesses that participate during RERT events are also supporting the stability of Australia’s energy system.

How can businesses join a RERT program?

Commercial and industrial sized energy consumers can choose to join in Flow Power’s RERT program if they meet certain criteria. Contact our energy specialists today to see if your business is eligible. 

When are RERT events called?

A RERT event can be called at any time of the year. However, they are typically called during summer, at times when the network is under pressure and demand is high. RERT events are usually called when demand is at its highest. The network typically experiences its highest demand in the evening between 5pm to 9pm on weekdays. 
A common example is during extreme weather events, such as a heatwave, where everyone turns on their air conditioners for extended periods. This sudden increase in demand for electricity can challenge the reliability of the grid, leading to AEMO deciding that a RERT needs to be called.  

What triggers a RERT event?

RERT is triggered when the electricity supply cannot meet the forecasted demand and can be called at any time throughout the year.  

Causes that can lead to RERT being called: 

  • High demand 
  • Extreme weather  
  • Critical energy infrastructure or generator maintenance  
  • Natural disasters  
  • Generator outages 
  • Transmission outages  
  • Reduced weather-related generation 

FAQs about RERT

What is reserve procurement?

Participants in a RERT program provide reserve procurement, which is where reserve power is secured for the benefit of the grid and its users. 

How is reserve power obtained?

Reserve power can be obtained when businesses either reduce the power they use or swap to alternative sources, such as batteries or an onsite generator, when needed. 

How does RERT help with grid reliability?

At peak times, the balance of supply and demand for electricity can be strained. In the worst case scenarios, AEMO needs to instruct load-shedding, where large groups of energy users have their electricity involuntarily disconnected. However, RERT can help AEMO avoid having to do this by calling on and paying participating businesses to reduce their energy demand. This helps avoid the need for involuntary load shedding.  

What are some of AEMO’s criteria for joining a RERT program?

Looking to join RERT? Here are some general questions to see if your business might be suitable:  

  1. Do you regularly operate between 5pm to 9pm? 
  2. Do you have flexibility in your operations to reduce load if given sufficient notice?  
  3. Can you operate using an alternative source of consuming electricity? i.e. back-up generator or battery. 

If you answer yes to any of the above questions, your business may match AEMO’s criteria for joining a RERT program.  

If you’re unsure, our energy specialists are here to help! Give us a call on 1300 08 06 08 to see if your business is suitable for joining RERT.  

Do I need to have an energy plan with Flow Power to join your RERT program?

No. Any eligible business that meets AEMO’s criteria will be highly considered to join Flow Power’s RERT portfolio. Reach out to our energy specialists today to find out more.  

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Want to know more or join Flow Power’s RERT program? We’re here to help.

If you’re an existing Flow Power customer, please do not hesitate to reach out to your account manager. 

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