Queensland-NSW Interconnector RIT-T guidance notice and engagement process

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has today published a Guidance Note regarding the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) for the Queensland-NSW Interconnector (QNI). The note is intended to help guide stakeholder engagement through the RIT-T consultation, as well as provide regulatory predictability when the AER’s post-RIT processes occur. A timeline of the stakeholder engagement process has also been published.

This RIT-T, which is currently being undertaken by Transgrid and Powerlink, contains options relating to both a minor upgrade of the QNI and also a medium upgrade. The minor upgrade is identified by Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan as providing benefits when Liddell retires in 2022. The AER supports the RIT-T focussing on the minor upgrade.

Background

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.

Indicative timetable

QNI stage 1 regulatory process indicative timetable
Milestone Responsible Party Indicative Date
Publish RIT draft report (PADR) Transgrid/Powerlink End September 2019
Submissions close on PADR (6 weeks submission period) Stakeholders Mid November 2019
Publish RIT final report (PACR) Transgrid/Powerlink Mid December 2019
Submit RIT assessment (5.16.6) application and revenue (contingent project) application to the AER Transgrid/Powerlink Mid December 2019
AER publishes revenue application and request for submissions AER Pre-Christmas 2019
Close of period for raising a dispute on RIT Stakeholders Late January 2020
Close of submissions on revenue application Stakeholders Late January 2020
AER makes RIT assessment determination and revenue approval determination AER End March 2020*
*This timing assumes no dispute is received.
Sector: 
Segment: 
Issued date: 
15 July 2019
AER reference: 
AC 96/19