AER publishes determination on the battery service component of the Waratah Super Battery project

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has made a determination for the battery service component of the NSW Waratah Super Battery (WSB) project.

Based on our review of the competitive process undertaken by the Energy Corporation of NSW (EnergyCo) to select a battery service provider, we are satisfied that the process was genuine and appropriate. EnergyCo selected Akaysha Energy to provide services to support Transgrid’s transmission network using a grid-scale battery. We have confirmed in our determination the amounts proposed by Transgrid to be paid to it, which it will then pay to Akaysha Energy for provision of the battery service.

As our determination contains commercially sensitive information, content has been redacted from the public version of the document, including the amounts to be paid to Transgrid (the designated Network Operator for the WSB project).

However, we consider it important that consumers be informed of the costs and benefits of projects that they are ultimately required to pay for. Therefore, to provide transparency, we will be publishing information in 2023 which will include aggregated amounts to be paid to Transgrid. This will occur once we have made a determination for another component of the WSB project relating to paired generation services.

Background

The Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap is the NSW Government’s plan to transform its electricity system by coordinating investment in transmission, generation, storage and firming infrastructure as coal-fired generation plants retire. The Roadmap is enabled by the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Investment (EII) Act 2020.

The NSW Government appointed the AER as a regulator under the EII Act in 2021. As part of this role, the AER must make five-year revenue determinations for Network Operators authorised by the independent Consumer Trustee, or authorised or directed by the Minister, to undertake a network infrastructure project. We have made our determination under the contestable arrangements in the EII framework and our Revenue Determination Guideline for NSW Contestable Network Projects.

The WSB project is part of the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap. It aims to ensure reliable electricity supply in NSW following the potential early retirement of the Eraring power station. The battery will operate as part of a System Integrity Protection Scheme to increase the capacity of the existing transmission network, allowing electricity consumers in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong to access more energy from existing generators.

The WSB project is composed of two contestable components (a battery service and paired generation services) and a non-contestable component (a program of augmentations to Transgrid’s network and a control and communications system). Further information on the project is available here.

Under the EII Act, the Scheme Financial Vehicle must pay the Network Operator in accordance with the amounts set out in our determination. The Scheme Financial Vehicle recovers the cost of the NSW Roadmap from NSW electricity distributors, who in turn recover those costs from NSW electricity consumers via network charges in their retail bills.

Sector: 
Segment: 
Issued date: 
14 December 2022
AER reference: 
AC 184/22
Contact: 
General enquiries - REZ REZ@aer.gov.au