On 5 April 2022, Transgrid submitted its stage 1 contingent project application to the AER seeking an increase to its revenue in accordance with clause 6A.8.2 of the NER to fund the early works stage associated with the staged delivery of the HumeLink contingent project. The HumeLink contingent project looks at reinforcing the transmission network in southern NSW.
Interested parties were invited to make submissions on Transgrid's contingent project application; seven submissions were published.
On 17 August 2022, the AER published its final decision in relation to Transgrid's HumeLink contingent project application.
HumeLink is a transmission upgrade connecting the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme to Bannaby, expanding transmission capacity in southern New South Wales. The project is identified as a necessary upgrade for the National Electricity Market in Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) Integrated System Plan. The project has also been subject to a Regulatory Investment Test Transmission assessment.
Transgrid has submitted its stage 1 continent project application to seek $71.5 million in revenue, paid by energy consumers, to deliver proposed ‘early works’ for the HumeLink project. This includes project design, stakeholder engagement, and land-use planning. Transgrid has sought funding for these activities to reduce project uncertainty and identifying project risks before committing to the full project.
Transgrid will later submit a second stage contingent project application seeking to recover revenue for project implementation costs once the project has been committed to and a final cost estimate is available.
The AER’s role is to review the reasonableness of the proposed costs within the stage 1 application to ensure consumers pay no more than necessary. The AER expects to make a decision on the application in the second half of 2022.