AusNet Services have submitted an application to the AER seeking an increase in their allowed revenue to fund the third and final tranche of their installation of Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiters (REFCLs). REFCLs are required to be installed under Victorian safety regulations (see background).
Funding for a 'contingent project' is permitted under clause 6.6A.2 of the National Electricity Rules through an adjustment to the maximum allowed revenue under AusNet Services 2016-20 revenue determination.
Network revenue determinations are made by the AER and set out the revenue network businesses can collect from electricity consumers through charges within a defined period.[/no-lexicon]
Invitation for submissions
Interested parties are invited to make submissions on AusNet Services' contingent project application by 26 July 2019.
The AER prefers that all submissions be sent in an electronic format in Microsoft Word or other text-readable document form and publicly available, to facilitate an informed, transparent and robust consultation process. Submissions should be emailed to AERinquiry@aer.gov.au with the subject line 'AusNet Services - REFCL contingent project application'.
Alternatively, submissions can be sent to:
Mr Chris Pattas
Australian Energy Regulator
GPO Box 520
Melbourne Vic 3001
Submissions will be treated as public documents and posted on the AER's website unless prior arrangements are made with the AER to treat the submission, or portions of it, as confidential. Those wishing to submit confidential information are requested to:
- clearly identify the information that is the subject of the confidentiality claim; and
- provide a non-confidential version of the submission.
On 1 May 2016, following the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission after the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009, the Electricity Safety (Bushfire Mitigation) Amendment Regulations 2016 (Amended Bushfire Mitigation Regulations) came into effect in Victoria. The amended regulations require Victorian distributors to install REFCLs at designated zone substations in Victoria's electricity distribution network. The purpose of the REFCL devices is to reduce the risk of a bushfire caused by fallen powerlines.
AusNet Services' application is for the third of three tranches of REFCL installation that aim to meet the requirement that all the defined points in Victoria's distribution network have REFCLs in operation by 1 May 2023.