Generators and large energy customers need to connect to the shared transmission network in order to facilitate the flow of electricity to and from their facilities to the transmission system. This is achieved by building extension lines from the generation location to the transmission network. The assets that are required to enable a connection are broadly described as connection assets.
Dedicated connection assets are privately owned and operated connection assets that provide the services required to connect a party to the shared transmission network. A dedicated connection asset connects a party to the shared transmission system at a single connection point and can be isolated from electricity flows on the shared transmission network, e.g. the power line that connects parts of a substation to a generating system.
On 8 July 2021, the Australian Energy Market Commission made a rule change in respect of dedicated connection assets that established a framework that would change the definition of large dedicated connection assets to ‘designated network assets’.
‘Designated network assets’ are a type of connection asset defined by the National Electricity Rules (NER) as, the apparatus, equipment, plant and equipment that:
- are used from the boundary point to convey, and control the conveyance of, electricity, for an identified user group;
- are for the exclusive use of the identified user group and may be owned by different persons within that identified user group;
- include power lines that have a route length of 30 kilometres or more; or less than 30 kilometres where the owner of those assets has entered into a network operating agreement in respect of those assets.
The NER require the AER to publish a register of existing dedicated networks assets and the identity of designated network asset owners.
The AER was also required to publish registers and policies under the previous regulatory framework governing dedicated connection assets.
When the previous framework for transmission connections was established there were several existing, contracted to be constructed, or agreed to connect assets that would have met the definition of a dedicated connection asset introduced by the NER. The NER set out a means by which parties that owned, operated or controlled an ‘existing dedicated connection assets’ were grandfathered and the AER published a register of these existing dedicated connection assets’.
Under the 2021 designated network asset rule, ‘existing dedicated connection assets’ recorded in the AER’s register at 1 July 2018 continued to be grandfathered and therefore are not subject to the designated network asset new rules (Clause 11.139.5(a) under Schedule 5 of the NER).
Below are the four registrations received by the 1 May 2018 cut-off date as specified in clause 11.98.2(a).
NER Clause 5.2A.8(o) under Schedule 2 creates an obligation on the AER to publish a register of designated network assets and the identity of designated network asset owners.
Below is a list of designated networks assets registered.
Below is a list of the access policies approved by the AER prior to the introduction of the designated network asset framework
Below is a list of designated networks assets access policies approved by the AER.
Below is a list of AER decisions in respect of the above designated networks assets access policies.