AER approves costs for HumeLink early works

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has approved costs for Humelink early works (Stage 1) following a contingent project application received from Transgrid.

A contingent project application outlines the amount of revenue an energy business seeks to recover from its customers to deliver a project. The AER’s role is to assess whether the trigger event for actionable Integrated System Plan (ISP) projects has been satisfied and to review the reasonableness of the proposed costs of the project.

The AER has approved Transgrid’s proposed cost of $321.9 million for Stage 1 of the project, to undertake early works for HumeLink. The range of early work activities to be delivered by 2024 include project design, stakeholder engagement, land-use planning and approvals and acquisition, procurement activities, and project management.

The Stage 1 project costs approved by the AER will be added to Transgrid’s total maximum allowed revenue for the 2023–28 regulatory control period. This will be reflected in customer bills from 2024–25 onwards, with an estimated slight increase in household electricity bills in NSW over 2024–25 to 2027–28 of around $3 per annum.

HumeLink is a transmission upgrade connecting the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme to Bannaby in NSW, expanding transmission capacity in southern NSW. HumeLink is included in the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) 2022 ISP optimal development path as a ‘staged actionable project’. The 2022 ISP provides a comprehensive roadmap for the National Electricity Market for supplying affordable and reliable electricity to homes and businesses while supporting Australia’s net zero ambitions.

The AER expects to receive a second contingent project from Transgrid seeking approval of the construction phase (Stage 2) of the HumeLink project.

More information about the HumeLink project is available here.

Issued date: 
17 August 2022
AER reference: 
AC 126/22
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