The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has extended the timeframe for making a determination on the dispute raised by the South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) in relation to ElectraNet’s South Australian Energy Transformation (SAET) regulatory investment test for transmission (RIT-T).
Under the dispute resolution framework set out in the National Electricity Rules (NER), the AER has 40 days to make a decision on the dispute. This can be extended by up to 60 days to account for the complexity of the issues involved.
Following the extension, the AER will now make a determination no later than June 2019. However the AER is endeavouring to finalise the dispute resolution process as early as possible.
On 15 March 2019, SACOSS raised a dispute under Clause 5.16.5 of the NER on the grounds that the SAET RIT-T Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) does not adequately consider the system security risks with the assumed retirement of three gas generators and an outage of one of the interconnectors.
The RIT–T is a cost‒benefit analysis that transmission businesses apply before making network investments in excess of $6 million. The purpose of the RIT–T is to identify the network or non-network investment option with the highest net economic benefits across the National Electricity Market. This promotes efficient investment decisions and helps ensure that consumers pay no more than necessary for electricity network infrastructure.
The AER’s role in the dispute resolution process is to assess the transmission business’s compliance with the RIT‒T and NER. Where instances of non-compliance are identified, the AER may direct amendments to ensure the RIT-T is applied in accordance with the requirements of the NER.