Yurika is bringing a new lower cost FCAS metering product to market later this year that will provide a tool for direct participation in Fast and Very Fast Contingency FCAS markets.

Large batteries are uniquely positioned to participate in FCAS trading, providing new opportunities for battery owners to commercialise their assets, while helping keep Australia’s electricity network stable and secure.

Frequency Control Ancillary Services (FCAS) is a term for a group of ancillary services (Regulation FCAS and Contingency FCAS) that regulate frequency and maintain a balance of supply and demand to help keep our electricity grid stable. Too much demand without enough generation, and the frequency will fall. Too much generation for the given demand and frequency will rise. If the frequency goes outside the normal operating frequency band (49.85-50.15Hz) the risk of adverse power system impacts, like tripping equipment, increases. If the frequency instability worsens and extends outside the range of 49-51Hz, the power system is at risk of total collapse and significant outages. FCAS is in place to protect equipment and keep the lights on.

How does Contingency FCAS work?

Contingency FCAS works by using technology that monitors the frequency of the network and responds automatically, potentially within milliseconds, to help stabilise frequency changes. An event on the network can happen at any time of the day or night, and we can’t wait for people to respond – that’s why Contingency FCAS technology is important.

Contingency FCAS technology will respond to a predetermined trigger, by switching or ramping a load or generation source, for example charging or discharging a battery. It’s all figured out in advance, automated, and can provide a near instant response.


Why batteries?

Large battery systems are uniquely positioned to participate in FCAS because they are both a load and a generation source. They can charge and increase load in the network, or discharge energy back into the network depending on whether there is a rise or fall in frequency.

Battery systems can also respond quickly, and because of these unique advantages, they have been quite lucrative in the FCAS markets over recent years. Considering FCAS and the ongoing revenue opportunity it provides can help a business case for a battery energy storage system.

Other dispatchable generation or load resources may also be eligible for FCAS, such as large refrigeration or HVAC assets, but as they are often less responsive than batteries, they may be limited to the ‘Slow’ (60 second) or ‘Delayed’ (5 minute) Contingency FCAS markets. The majority of battery systems are suitable for the ‘Fast’ (6 second) market and potentially the new ‘Very Fast’ (1 second) market.

How can I make money from FCAS?

AEMO is the market operator. They are responsible for maintaining the balance in frequency and they control the FCAS markets. If you own a battery system, you can register it to participate in a market, such as Contingency FCAS, and be available to respond if there is an event that disturbs network frequency.

As a battery system owner, you’re paid for the capacity you make available to respond. Thankfully, the Australian power system is highly robust and contingency events that require a contingency FCAS repose are infrequent. As such, this may increase the attractiveness of the opportunity to add to your revenue stack.

How Yurika can help you with FCAS

When you work with Yurika, we make sure you are compliant with AEMO’s FCAS requirements. Our market meters are on the approved AEMO list and Yurika is an approved Metering Coordinator. We have been actively involved in the development of FCAS standards and can offer a range of metering support services including 5-minute interval energy profile data and power quality reporting.

Yurika can help you identify the opportunities and understand your participation requirements. We have experience developing grid connected battery systems, registering in Contingency FCAS and operating assets in energy and FCAS markets.

In October 2023, AEMO will introduce a new ‘Very Fast’ FCAS market, which is about responding even faster than is currently possible. This is innovative technology that is looking to replace synchronous machines, like our large coal fired power plants, with inverter-based systems.

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