Federal Court declares Snowy Hydro Limited breached National Electricity Rules

Court decision
Enforceable undertaking
Instituted civil proceedings
Release date: 
3 March 2015
Related provisions: 

Clause 4.9.8(a) of the National Electricity Rules.
Section 59A National Electricity Law


On 2 July 2014 the AER instituted proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against Snowy Hydro Limited (Snowy Hydro) for alleged contraventions of the National Electricity Rules. On the 12 February 2015 the Federal Court of Australia declared by consent that Snowy Hydro had breached clause 4.9.8(a) the National Electricity Rules on nine occasions in 2012 and 2013, by failing to comply with dispatch instructions issued by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). On each occasion, Snowy Hydro generated more power than the dispatch instruction required.


A copy of the Federal Court judgment is available through the Australasian Legal Information Institute database.

The Court ordered by consent that Snowy Hydro pay total penalties of $400 000 and that it appoint an independent compliance expert to review the accuracy of Snowy Hydro’s internal documents relating to the compliance with dispatch instructions. Snowy Hydro was also ordered by consent to make a contribution to the AER’s costs.

Snowy Hydro also provided an enforceable undertaking to the AER regarding the operation of automatic generation control system. The undertaking is the first enforceable undertaking accepted by the AER under the provisions of the National Electricity Law.