Details of four options for potential new high-voltage electricity interconnectors between South Australia and the eastern states, were presented at an ElectraNet forum attended by over 50 people in Adelaide today.

The forum comes after the release of a Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR) that explores network and non-network options to enable the state’s energy transformation.

ElectraNet Chief Executive, Steve Masters, said the report and forum explored credible long-term solutions that could improve system security, place downward pressure on electricity prices and facilitate a transition to a low-carbon future.

“Transmission networks around the country must continue to evolve and adapt to the new technologies that are being integrated into the electricity supply chain, but will play an important role in a considered and planned, long-term transition strategy,” he said.

“It’s vital the regulatory frameworks around our industry support this evolution and allow our responses to be agile.

“Increased interconnection within the National Electricity Market will increase its resilience and allow diversity in generation and consumption patterns, as we navigate to a sustainable future.”

In the interests of economic efficiency, the regulatory framework encourages considerations of all credible options. Non-network options like grid-scale battery storage devices, demand response measures and other developing technologies, were also discussed as potential options to help facilitate South Australia’s energy transformation.

“This is an important conversation for South Australia and it’s pleasing the industry and public has engaged so positively.”

The PSCR is the first step in the existing Regulatory Investment Test – Transmission (RIT-T) process, which is the cost benefit test that applies to major network investments in the National Electricity Market. It is estimated to take around one year to complete.

A new interconnector project, or non-network alternative, will only proceed if sufficient benefits can be demonstrated, and it is subsequently approved by the Australian Energy Regulator.

The PSCR is available from electranet.com.au and feedback is sought by 6 February 2017.

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About ElectraNet

ElectraNet provides energy and infrastructure solutions across Australia. We own and operate over $2.5 billion of electricity transmission assets that transport electricity over long distances and to remote areas. A critical part of the electricity supply chain, ElectraNet’s transmission network delivers safe and reliable electricity supply. Our transmission costs make-up less than 10% of end-user electricity prices.

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