Connections Simulation Tool

The Connections Simulation Tool is a joint ARENA AEMO initiative.   

Securing a new grid connection for renewables has become a barrier to the transition of Australia’s energy system away from traditional energy sources. 

A world first, the Connections Simulation Tool will provide developers, Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and consultants with the ability to run studies against AEMO’s four-state model whilst protecting plant confidentiality.  The tool is an optional fee-for-use service that is independent of, but will support, the connections process.  Using the tool, users will be able to develop higher quality models that will require fewer approval iterations once submitted and thereby reducing the time and cost to connect. 

Commercial and technical confidentiality will be preserved throughout the process.   

This aims to provide:   

Greater Confidence in Studies 

Connections applicants will be able to better design their plant and will improve the likelihood that the submitted plant designs will meet the acceptance criteria as defined in the rules.  

Faster Application Process 

Utilising a full power system model will provide applicants with data and insights that will reduce the number of iterations with AEMO required to complete the connections process. The approval process will therefore be streamlined reducing risk, cost and time.  

This service is funded through user fees on a cost recovery basis.  


The project aims to deliver the Connections Simulation Tool in the following timeframes.  

Connections Simulation Tool Trials. (2021 - 2022) 

Trials have been designed to gain targeted industry feedback by collaborating with a small number of industry users.  

A Minimal Viable Product (MVP) trial was completed in February 2022.  The pre-pilot commenced in April 2022, and full system pilot started in July 2022.

Connections Simulation Tool Release 1. (Q4 2022, Q1 2023)  

PSCAD will be used to simulate network conditions. This will be available to a set of users that will be expanded over time. 

Related projects  

The AEMO Operations Simulator project will introduce HYPERSIM into AEMO operations. The Connections Simulation Tool was identified as an extension to that project providing further industry benefits.  

More Information  

Opportunities to find out more about the Connections Simulation Tool will be listed here including workshops, presentations, webinars, and forums. AEMO aims to provide regular updates to the industry over the coming months as this work progresses.

Connections Simulation Tool Industry Working Group

Contact us

For more information or to get involved please contact AEMO via

* The Connections Simulation Tool is an adjunct to the Connections Process.  It does not impact or alter the formal submission requirements (including the format of models). 

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