Rule Change: Open

Overview

On 3 January 2020 the AEMC received a rule change request from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The rule change request seeks to amend the National Electricity Rules (NER) to clarify the framework for transmission connections through a dedicated connection asset (DCA). AEMO has requested a change to current Rules to address issues that arise when multiple facilities seek to connect to the same DCA.
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On 3 January 2020 the AEMC received a rule change request from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The rule change request seeks to amend the National Electricity Rules (NER) to clarify the framework for transmission connections through a dedicated connection asset (DCA). AEMO has requested a change to current Rules to address issues that arise when multiple facilities seek to connect to the same DCA.

DCAs are privately owned and operated connection assets that provide the services required to connect a party to the shared transmission network. A DCA connects a party to the shared transmission system at a single connection point and can be isolated from electricity flows on the shared transmission network, e.g. the power line that connects parts of a substation to a generating system.

The NER and the relevant processes, procedures and systems allocate responsibilities and obligations to a single financially responsible market participant (FRMP) at the connection point. This means that, even if multiple facilities connect to the same DCA, only one FRMP is assigned to the single DCA connection point. Consequently, this requires there to be a single:

  • performance standard to apply at the connection point, reflecting the overall performance of all connected facilities
  • metering installation to record energy flows, with the meter data used for market settlement, including the calculation of marginal loss factors, and other fees and charges.

Further, currently only ‘large’ DCA (30km or longer) are subject to a third-party access regime, through which parties can negotiate access to the services provided by a large DCA.

In its rule change request, AEMO has raised a number of concerns related to the application of key NER requirements where multiple facilities are connected by a single DCA, and therefore applied to a single FRMP. These include: registration as a market participant; negotiation and enforcement of performance standards; metering and settlement; and calculation of transmission loss factors.

On 5 March 2020 the AEMC published a consultation paper that set out a number of issues related to:

  • AEMO’s proposal to create additional connection points at the point where each facility connects to a DCA, in addition to the existing DCA connection point. This would apply the NER requirements and obligations directly to each connected party.
  • modifying the DCA third party access framework to potentially enable DCAs to be better utilised.

Extension of time for making the draft determination and draft rule

The AEMC has extended the time for making the draft determination and draft rule for the Connection to dedicated connection assets rule change until 20 August 2020.

This extension is necessary due to the complexity of the issues addressed by the rule change request.

The extended timeframe will also allow the Commission to conduct additional stakeholder consultation. This will take the form of a stakeholder webinar to be held on 7 July 2020. Stakeholders are invited to register their interest in attending the webinar here.

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