On 15 March 2019, South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) lodged a dispute in relation to the conclusions made in ElectraNet’s project assessment conclusion report (PACR) for the South Australia Energy Transformation (SAET) regulatory investment test for transmission (RIT-T).
The dispute was raised under clause 5.16.5 of the National Electricity Rules (NER) on the grounds that the SAET RIT-T PACR inadequately addressed the risk of unintended consequences as a result of system security risks associated with the retirement of three South Australian gas plants. In particular, the SAET RIT-T includes a protection scheme to detect and manage security risks associated with the loss of the Heywood interconnector or the proposed interconnector. SACOSS raised concerns that the PACR provided little detail in relation to the ability of scheme to manage this risk. SACOSS also contended that the market benefits outlined in the PACR may not be achievable if the protection scheme cannot be implemented as required.
Following a review of the dispute, and further information provided by ElectraNet and AEMO, the AER was satisfied that ElectraNet’s application of the SAET RIT-T was in accordance with the NER specifically on the matters raised in the dispute notice. As a result, ElectraNet was not required to amend its PACR for SAET RIT-T.
Our determination concludes ElectraNet's application of the RIT-T for SAET. However, in accordance with the NER, if there is a material change in circumstances whereby the 330kV interconnector option identified in the PACR is no longer the preferred option, ElectraNet may be required to reapply the RIT-T.