The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) today released an Issues Paper as the first step in public consultation on its Congestion Management Review.

The Ministerial Council on Energy directed the AEMC to undertake the Review to examine current congestion management arrangements in the National Electricity Market and whether enhanced congestion management and pricing arrangements are needed.

AEMC Chairman, John Tamblyn, said the effective management of congestion was a critical issue on two fronts - to ensure reliable and secure electricity supply; and to ensure efficient market outcomes which benefit consumers in both the short and long term.

"Congestion on transmission lines takes place from time to time when available transmission capacity simply can't respond to shifting demand with the least cost generation available," Mr Tamblyn said.

"It is not cost effective to invest in the transmission network to remove all congestion, so some congestion is inevitable. The task is to consider improvements in congestion management. The Commission is concerned that this Review consider issues in the context of real and practical congestion problems faced in the National Electricity Market," he said.

This Issues Paper seeks views from stakeholders on;

  • Specific network issues that the current approach to congestion management has failed to address;
  • The problems and issues with the current approach to managing congestion in the National Electricity Market, and some indication as to the materiality of these problems; and
  • Options for improving the management of congestion in the National Electricity Market.

The Issues Paper for the AEMC's Congestion Management Review is now available for public review and submissions are due 13 April 2006.

A Final Report is due to the MCE in September 2006

For information contact
AEMC Chairman, John Tamblyn (02) 8296 7800
AEMC Public Affairs, Prue Anderson (02) 8296 7800 or 0404 821 935