Learn more about the identified need, services that could meet it, and next steps in our process for the SA Energy Transformation project.
South Australian Energy Transformation
ElectraNet has been exploring options to facilitate South Australia’s energy transformation, while helping to lower electricity prices and improve system security.
In November 2016, ElectraNet released a consultation report that explored the technical and economic feasibility of a new interconnector as well as alternative non-network solution options, through the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T).
The RIT-T is the economic cost benefit test that is overseen by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) and applies to all major network investments in the National Electricity Market.
During the consultation we received extensive feedback and input from electricity market participants and the wider community.
In June 2018, the Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) was released. The report identified that the construction of a new, high capacity interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales would deliver substantial net benefits to customers.
In February 2019 we released the SA Energy Transformation PACR which is the final step in the RIT-T process.
The PACR identifies that a high-capacity interconnector between South Australia and New South Wales, with an added connection to north west Victoria, is the preferred option to generate a range of benefits for South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. These benefits include improved electricity affordability, energy and network security and the connection of renewable energy needed to meet Australia’s carbon emissions targets.
Residential customers should see annual savings on their electricity bills of $66 in South Australia and $30 in New South Wales. For small businesses annual savings are expected to be $132 in South Australia and $71 in New South Wales. These savings would start flowing as soon as the new interconnector is energised.
The proposed interconnector would be built between Robertstown in South Australia and Wagga Wagga via Buronga in New South Wales, with an added connection to Red Cliffs in north west Victoria.
To deliver the project, ElectraNet would partner with TransGrid, the manager and operator of the high voltage electricity transmission network in NSW. Should the project be approved, TransGrid would fund the works within its jurisdiction.
It is estimated the project will cost approximately $1.5 billion but will deliver around $2.45 billion in benefits, meaning the savings delivered by the project will exceed the construction costs paid by customers.
The project has also been given an official name – Project EnergyConnect. Ongoing updates regarding how stakeholders and community members can participate and engage with the project are available on the Project EnergyConnect website.
On 24 January 2020 ElectraNet and TransGrid received RIT-T approval from the AER. The AER described the business case for Project EnergyConnect as “robust” and determined that the proposed interconnector remained the most “credible option that maximises the net economic benefit” in the National Electricity Market (NEM), ultimately benefiting electricity customers.
To read the AER’s full determination the RIT-T, please visit the AER website.
The next step in the project’s approval process involves ElectraNet and TransGrid preparing a Contingent Project Application (CPA) to be lodged with the AER.
On 5 June, 2019 the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) published its determination in response to a dispute notice lodged by the South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) on 15 March, 2019.
The dispute related to conclusions made in the Project Assessment Conclusion Report (PACR) on the grounds the South Australian Energy Transformation RIT-T PACR inadequately addressed the risk of unintended consequences as a result of system security risks associated with the retirement of three South Australian gas plants. It also related to whether ElectraNet’s modelled market benefits are achievable if the SPS is unable to be implemented as intended.
The AER determined that ElectraNet “is not required to amend its PACR for the SAET RIT-T”. The AER is satisfied additional information provided by ElectraNet and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) demonstrates the SPS is technically feasible, will operate as intended and therefore our economic analysis is realistic.
To read the AER’s determination and the background information provided in response to the dispute, please visit the AER website.
Project Assessment Conclusions Report
PACR - Supplementary reports
PADR - Submissions
Documents Published in response to requests at public forums - August 2018
Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) and associated reports - June 2018
Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR) and associated reports - November 2016
South Australian Energy Transformation
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ElectraNet is undertaking a Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) to explore potential solutions to help address the increasing challeng...
ElectraNet is exploring potential solutions to help address the increasing challenges of transitioning towards a low-carbon future and...
View the presentation provided at our South Australian Energy Transformation forum.
Read this consultation report which outlines the proposed methodology for assessing options considered in the South Australian Energy Transformation R...