The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) today released the final report for its Last Resort Planning Power 2012 Review in relation to the National Electricity Market (NEM).

The National Electricity Rules contain a requirement for the AEMC to report annually on whether transmission network service provider planning had responded to inter-regional network congestion as identified in national planning documents. The 2012 review finds that interconnector capacity received an appropriate level of assessment and there was no need for the AEMC to exercise its last resort planning power in the year under review.

The NEM comprises five regions with interconnected transmission networks. The flow of electricity between regions is critical for the efficient and reliable operation of the market as a whole. Investment in interconnectors and the regional networks that support them has the potential to ensure reliable supply for customers in the most cost efficient way, as well as allowing improved market efficiency through cross regional trading.

Each region of the NEM has its own transmission Jurisdictional Planning Body (JPB). Each JPB is responsible for undertaking transmission infrastructure forward planning within its region. In addition, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as the National Transmission Planner (NTP) develops a strategic overview of the future transmission requirements of the NEM.

The National Electricity Rules (NER) allocate the Last Resort Planning Power (LRPP) to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC). This is the power to direct a Registered Participant to undertake a Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) to determine if a transmission project is warranted. The AEMC is to exercise this power if it considers that the JPBs are not giving due regard to a constraint on inter-regional flows. Each year the AEMC considers the documented planning actions of the JPBs and the NTP and reports on its reasons for either issuing a direction or not doing so. The AEMC is yet to exercise its power to issue a direction.


For information contact:

AEMC Director, Julian Eggleston (02) 8296 7800

Media: Communication Manager, Prudence Anderson 0404 821 935 or (02) 8296 7817


Date: 11 December 2012