TransGrid has published a Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) for reinforcing the NSW Southern Shared Network to increase transfer capacity to demand centres (HumeLink).
The PACR has been prepared as the final step in the HumeLink Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) process and follows the Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR) published in June 2019, and Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) published in January 2020.
The PACR finds that Option 3C, comprised of new 500 kV lines in an electrical ‘loop’ between Maragle, Wagga Wagga and Bannaby, provides the greatest net benefits of all options considered, across all scenarios investigated.
Option 3C is assessed to be the preferred option identified under this RIT-T and is found to have approximately 23 per cent greater estimated net benefits than the second ranked option (Option 2C), on a weighted basis across the scenarios investigated.
The analysis shows that the preferred option is expected to:
- deliver net benefits of approximately $491 million over the assessment period, in present value terms;
- reduce the need for new dispatchable generation investment to meet demand going forward;
- avoid capital costs that would otherwise be required associated with enabling greater integration of renewables in the National Electricity Market (NEM);
- lower the aggregate generator fuel costs required to meet demand in the NEM going forward; and
- provide significant ‘competition benefits’ by increasing the efficiency of bidding in the wholesale market.
The preferred option identified over the course of this RIT-T is consistent with the network topology and operating capacity of HumeLink in the final AEMO 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP).
Transgrid has published an addendum to the Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) for reinforcing the NSW Southern Shared Network to increase transfer capacity to demand centres (HumeLink).
Wunelli Pty Ltd raised a dispute on 16 August 2021 under rule 5.16B of the National Electricity Rules (NER), on the grounds that the PACR failed to consider all credible options to address the network need.
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) published its dispute determination on 24 November 2021. The AER found that Transgrid did not meet the RIT-T requirements with respect to its consideration of credible options. Specifically, the AER concluded that Transgrid could reasonably have been expected to include in the RIT-T analysis a full double circuit configuration of Option 1C (referred to as ‘Option 1C-new’ in the AER’s determination and this addendum), in order to assess the net economic benefit associated with this option.
This addendum has been prepared in response to the AER’s determination and extends the analysis presented in the HumeLink PACR published in July 2021 and provides other information for the specific purpose of satisfying the AER’s requirements in its dispute determination.
The preferred option remains a new 500 kV double-circuit lines in an electrical ‘loop’ between Maragle, Wagga Wagga and Bannaby (Option 3C).
In satisfying the AER’s requirements, the addendum and its contents does not preclude or prejudice any other public consultation or process being undertaken in relation to HumeLink.
A copy of the PACR and more information about HumeLink can be obtained from TransGrid's website.