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SA-NSW interconnector nears final approval


High-voltage transmission network owner ElectraNet has given its commitment to proceed with the proposed SA-NSW interconnector to the Australian Energy Regulator, clearing the path for the regulator’s final approval stage.


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ElectraNet is responsible for the South Australian section of the project, subject to the AER awarding incremental regulated revenue commensurate with the capital and operating costs of the project.

TransGrid has also lodged its final costings for its NSW section of the project.

ElectraNet says it is continuing to work proactively with the AER to progress the project through its last regulatory approval, with a final determination anticipated in the coming weeks. Following the AER’s determination, ElectraNet would then enter its Final Investment Decision phase for the $2.4 billion project.

When it released its preliminary position in December 2020 on the contingent project application for Project EnergyConnect, the AER indicated that the Board resolution from ElectraNet as part of its application should fully reflect the contingent project trigger event.

“The Board’s resolution fully satisfies the final contingent project trigger event requested by the AER to enable it to make a formal determination under the National Electricity Rules ElectraNet Chief Executive Steve Masters, said.

“This is an important project for the national electricity grid and is a priority project for ElectraNet, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and many other stakeholders.

“We look forward to concluding the regulatory approval process to support the timely delivery of the project in the interests of electricity customers across the National Energy Market (NEM).”

Independent analysis shows Project EnergyConnect is expected to deliver net annual savings of around $100 for a typical household in South Australia and up to around $60 for a typical household in New South Wales.

The final regulatory step is to confirm the efficient costs for the Project, and the AER now has 40 business days to make a final determination.

SA Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan welcomed the commitment by both businesses to the Interconnector.

“This means that with a final investment decision, construction will commence promptly to deliver the project as soon as possible to benefit consumers,” van Holst Pellekaan said.

“The SA-NSW Interconnector will boost energy security, reduce electricity prices further by an estimated $100 and unlock huge renewable energy projects in South Australia. It’s a critical project to deliver the Marshall Government’s intention of net-100% renewables by 2030.”

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