Exemption from registering as a Generator in the NEM

This page outlines the requirements of applying for an exemption from registering as a Generator in the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Section 11(1)(a) of the National Electricity Law requires any person engaging in the activity of owning, controlling or operating a generating system in the National Elective Market (NEM) to register as a Generator. This requirement applies irrespective of whether that activity is carried out jointly with others, on the person’s own behalf, or on behalf of someone else.

An exemption from this requirement can be obtained under section 11(1)(b) if a person:

  • is the subject of a derogation that exempts that person from the requirement to be registered as a Generator;
  • is exempted by AEMO from the requirement to be registered as a Generator for that generating system, as provided for in clause 2.2.1(c) of the National Electricity Rules (NER); or
  • appoints an intermediary that is registered as the Generator for that generating system, in accordance with clause 2.9.3 of the NER.

Exemption from registration as a Generator in the NEM application process

The following provides an overview of the process for applying for an exemption from the requirement to register as a Generator in the NEM. 

  1. Complete and submit

    Complete the application then email a signed copy along with all required attachments, to: onboarding@aemo.com.au. Once submitted to AEMO you will receive an acknowledgement of your application and the AEMO assessment process will commence. 

    Please note: 

    • AEMO is unable to review draft applications prior to formal submission. 
    • AEMO is unable to access file share drives to download applications or supporting documentation. All files in relation to an application should be submitted to AEMO as attachments to email. 

    Exemption applications that are submitted to AEMO via means other than onboarding@aemo.com.au will not initiate the assessment process.

    Note: A generating system that meets the standing exemption criteria detailed in section 3.4.1 or 3.4.2 of the Guide does not need to apply for exemption.

    Prior to submitting your application, please ensure that the following information required in the application form is accurate and complete. Without this information AEMO is unable to initiate the application assessment process. 

    • Application form signed by an authorised officer of the applicant entity
    • A Letter of Authority must be provided by the applicant entity where a third party is submitting the application on behalf of the applicant
    • ABN is provided and accurate
    • Company name is provided and accurate – If applying as a trust – please ensure the full trust trustee relationship name is provided
    • Exemption category is selected 
  2. Pay fees

    On receipt of your application, AEMO will send an invoice for the payment of your registration fees by electronic funds transfer (EFT). Application fees are non-refundable, regardless of outcome due to the overheads to assess and manage your application.

  3. AEMO Review

    AEMO will review the application and may request additional information or clarification of the information contained in your application. AEMO will endeavour to provide details of all outstanding information required to progress your application for decision as part of this request.  

    If the further information or clarification required is not provided to AEMO's satisfaction within 15 business days of the request, AEMO may, on notice to the applicant at any time after expiry of that period, elect to treat the application as withdrawn and the applicant will be taken to have withdrawn the application.

  4. AEMO assessment and decision

    Once AEMO receives a complete exemption application, AEMO will determine if the application is to be approved. AEMO will notify you of our determination and, if AEMO rejects your application, the reasons why. Your application will only be deemed as complete once all information required in the application form and guide has been provided to AEMO, along with any clarifications requested by AEMO as a result of the AEMO review or as a result of subsequent submissions.

    Please note – if your exemption application is linked to a Generator registration application it will proceed for decision at the same time as the generator application.

Types of exemptions

Exemptions from the requirement to register as a Generator may be granted by AEMO based either on the system characteristics of the generating system; the registration of an intermediary as the Generator; or as a temporary notifiable exemption.

Exemptions based on generating system characteristics

Exemptions from the requirement to register as a Generator may be granted based either on the characteristics of the generating system by its nature, size, type and operation.

Intermediary exemptions

Clause 2.9.3 of the NER enables a person that would ordinarily be required to register as a Generator to apply for an exemption if an intermediary is to be registered instead.

For the purposes of the NER, the approved intermediary is treated as the registered participant (Generator). Intermediaries must comply with all requirements associated with the functions for which they are appointed.

If multiple organisations own, control, or operate different generating units within a generating system, each organisation must be registered separately for the activities it carries out, or seek an exemption. Only one organisation can apply to be the registered Generator for a generating system.

Revoking an intermediary appointment

An applicant may revoke the appointment of an intermediary by giving notice to AEMO in the form of a formal letter signed by a person of authority. The applicant must be the facility owner, operator, and/or controller.

AEMO will advise the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) that the notice has been given. At 4.30am, two business days after AEMO approves the notice of revocation, the intermediary will cease to be considered the applicant’s intermediary for the purposes of the NER. Note that AEMO has no ability to delay or reverse this once a notice has been given. 

The intermediary, being the registered participant in respect to the facility, will be removed from AEMO systems. This also means the facility will no longer be able to participate in the National Electricity Market until another person is registered as a participant for that facility. 

If the applicant revoking the appointment of an intermediary was previously granted an exemption from registration, that exemption ceases at the time of the intermediary’s revocation. If required, the applicant should apply for registration.

Temporary notifiable exemptions

This is a temporary exemption category. It may be available to persons who own, operate, or control a generating system for which they are required, and have applied, to register as a Generator, but wish to perform pre-commissioning work before their registration is complete. A notifiable exemption does not permit hold-point testing of a Generator.

Exemption documents

These are the documents needed for registration exemption. Further information is outlined in Generator exemption and classification guide.

Note: If an intermediary is being appointed, each exemption application should be submitted at the same time as the intermediary’s registration application.

Supporting documents

These documents and information need to be supplied either with your application form, or beforehand, as they support your application for registration.

Trustee deed

Where the Applicant is acting in a trustee capacity, they must complete and return the following Trustee Deed form. No changes can be made to the Trustee Deed other than the completion of details where highlighted.

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