PIAC responded to the AEMCs consultation paper on a rule change proposal to increase transparency of new projects and improve information across the NEM.
The National Electricity Market is in the middle of an energy transformation and has seen a material increase in projects seeking to connect. Despite this, the existing regulatory framework is not suitable for delivering strategic investments and plans such as the coordinated connection of multiple generators.
Effective coordination of new connections will allow economies of scale in investment and should be encouraged. However, generators are rivals in a competitive wholesale market and, as such, may be unwilling or unable to voluntarily co-ordinate to undertake joint investments in transmission capacity. Therefore, increased transparency in connection information will likely not deliver more efficiently coordinated generation connections by itself, but it can form part of a broader framework for generation and transmission investment.
PIAC raises concerns that the current interpretation of the AEMC’s 2017 rule regarding system strength obligations for TNSPs and new generation connections may cause unnecessarily high generation and transmission costs, and act as barrier to renewable generation across the NEM. We don’t consider the rule change proposed by Energy Networks Australia would solely address this issue.
The National Electricity Rules (NER) permit AEMO to provide certain information to registered participants, including intending participants. PIAC supports expanding the current eligibility for Intending Participants to allow, but not require developers to register under this category.