In Victoria, the transmission network is referred to as the Declared Shared Network (DSN). It is operated by a Declared Transmission System Operator (DTSO). Augmentations to the DSN can be constructed and operated by an incumbent or selected DTSO.
The connection process generally depends on:
- Need for DSN augmentations – to network assets as well as protection, control and monitoring systems.
- Type of DSN augmentations required – to shared, interface or connection assets. Shared network assets include transmission lines, transmission tie transformers, busbars, circuit breakers and associated plant. Interface assets connect new shared network assets to the existing DSN, and are mainly transmission line cut-in works and changes to protection, control, and monitoring systems. Connection assets are plant connecting the Connection Applicant’s facility to the DSN, such as connecting transformers and associated high-voltage circuit breakers that are not already part of the shared network.
- Contestability of augmentations – Clause 8.11.6 of the National Electricity Rules (the Rules) defines contestable augmentations to the DSN, and AEMO determines whether the augmentation is contestable or non-contestable.
- Inter-network impact of augmentations – augmentations having a material inter-network impact may require an inter-network test. AEMO assesses if the augmentation may have a material inter-network impact.
Obligation to fund augmentations depends on the type of service required:
- Negotiated services – meet connection needs of an individual user or a small group of users that connect at the same point to the DSN, and do not deliver system-wide benefits. These services are solely funded by their users for the life of the augmentation (typically 30 years) through regular network charges. If other users connect at the same connection point, the augmentation costs will be shared between all users in accordance with AEMO’s cost allocation policy. These services can be provided by way of contestable or non-contestable augmentations.
- Prescribed services – enhance the transmission system for all users. AEMO assesses whether a proposed augmentation to the DSN meets regulatory obligations and delivers system-wide net benefits. Net benefits are assessed by using a cost‑benefit analysis to compare the costs of the augmentation with the benefits it will deliver to network users and, ultimately, to end-use electricity consumers. The charges associated with the augmentation will be recovered from all transmission network users through Transmission Use of System (TUoS) charges. The cost‑benefit analysis may require public consultation.