Rule Change: Completed
On 24 October 2019 the Commission made a final rule to improve publicly available information about new grid-scale generation projects. The rule also allows a broader set of project developers direct access to important system information required to build grid-scale assets.
The final determination improves information provision for new generation projects in the national electricity market (NEM).
The Commission’s final rule:
- facilitates greater access to relevant system information for developers that sell grid-scale assets prior to connection, while recognising that certain types of developers can already access this information by registering as intending participants
- codifies AEMO’s generation information page in the National Electricity Rules (NER). The page is an information resource that provides a source of regularly updated data on existing and proposed generation connections to the national grid.
- requires transmission network service providers (TNSPs) to share basic connection information about new generation projects with AEMO. AEMO must then publish this data on the generator information page.
The final rule supports the energy market transition by making it easier and quicker for developers to assess the viability of proposed projects. The final rule also means market participants are better informed of proposed connections which may assist them with their operational and investment decision-making.
Key dates for the implementation of the rule:
- From 19 December 2019: Developers will be able to apply to access relevant system information under new arrangements.
- From 19 December 2019: Key connection information provided as part of a connection enquiry or application (for a generating plant) that is submitted on or after this date must be shared by TNSPs with AEMO.
- By 31 January 2020: AEMO will be required to publish its generation information page. This time frame allows AEMO time to publish interim guidelines that set out the content of the generation information page and how it will be updated. TNSPs will have at least two weeks to process AEMO's interim guidelines before being required to comply with their new information sharing obligations.
Background – rule change requests
On 15 December 2018 the Australian Energy Council submitted a rule change request to the Commission seeking to increase the transparency of new projects (ERC0257). The request proposed:
- codifying AEMO’s generation information page in the National Electricity Rules (NER or Rules)
- imposing a requirement on intending participants to provide updated information to AEMO, for example when their projects change
- reforming the intending participant category, consistent with the proposals made by AEMO (discussed below)
- enabling AEMO to disclose confidential information if it reaches the public domain.
On 31 December 2018 AEMO submitted a rule change request seeking to allow a developer to register as an intending participant for the purposes of building a grid-scale generating system or an industrial development (e.g. a load), despite such a person never intending to register as market participant (ERC0260).
On 15 March 2019 Energy Networks Australia submitted a rule change request seeking to explicitly allow TNSPs to publish certain information they have received from connection applicants regarding new and proposed generation connections (ERC0268).
The Commission consolidated these three rule change requests as they all sought to promote the transparency of new generation projects and improve information provision in the national electricity market.
These rule change requests were submitted in response to the significant increase in generation connections and the emergence of new business models for generation projects.
The AEMC published a consultation paper covering the three proposals on 18 April 2019. The AEMC also published a draft determination in response to the consolidated request on 1 August 2019. Submissions to the consultation paper and draft determination were taken into account in the final determination and are available below.