The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has reviewed system planning reports prepared by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and found there is no need to exercise the last resort planning power in 2017.

The last resort planning power is an oversight mechanism under the National Electricity Rules which was conferred on the AEMC to complement the planning roles of transmission network businesses and AEMO as the national transmission planner.

2017s report finds transmission network companies are adequately considering the need for inter-regional transmission investment in their planning activities.

In particular, there are a number of recent and current interconnector feasibility studies that have been initiated by electricity market stakeholders.

Some of these studies include:

  • AEMO’s national transmission network development plan (NTNDP) 2016 which contains analysis of potential interconnection developments in the national electricity market and has outlined three options for projects with net positive market benefits
  • ElectraNet’s South Australia energy transformation regulator investment test (RIT-T) , as outlined in the project specification consultation report published in November 2016
  • The feasibility assessment of a second Tasmanian interconnector initiated by the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments, which published a final report in April 2017

The AEMC is required to report annually on the last resort planning power.

The AEMC has not exercised the last resort planning power since it was conferred on it in 2007. 

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