Project EnergyConnect (PEC) is the proposed, new, 330kV electricity interconnector between Robertstown, in South Australia, and Wagga Wagga, in New South Wales, that also includes a short 220kV spur from Buronga, in New South Wales, to Red Cliffs in northwest Victoria.
A Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) for the project was completed with the publication of a final report in February 2019, following extensive consultation with stakeholders.
To deliver the project, ElectraNet is partnering with TransGrid. Should the project be approved, TransGrid would complete the works within its jurisdiction.
ElectraNet requested the AER make a determination under clause 5.16.6 of the National Electricity Rules (Rules) that the project satisfies the requirements of the RIT-T. This step was necessary as a precondition for ElectraNet and TransGrid to seek contingent project funding from the AER.
On 24 January 2020, the AER approved the RIT-T describing the business case for project as “robust” and determining that the proposed interconnector remained the most “credible option that maximises the net economic benefit” in the NEM, ultimately benefiting electricity customers.
While the AER concluded that it is “satisfied the RIT-T has been successfully completed”, it noted that “any significant changes to the costs of the preferred option could have a material impact on the outcome of the RIT-T”.
Since the RIT-T was concluded there have been significant changes in both project costs and benefits from what was assessed in the RIT-T.
ElectraNet has been investigating whether there has been a “material change of circumstances” that would change the outcome of the RIT-T, taking into account this new information on both costs and benefits, and working closely with AEMO as it works to finalise its 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP).
ElectraNet have issued a stakeholder update to keep stakeholders informed on its updated cost benefit analysis and specifically to invite submissions on the application of variable heat rates to thermal generators in the time-sequential market modelling of the updated cost benefit analysis.
Submissions on this topic are invited by 7 August 2020 via firstname.lastname@example.org