Development of Queensland to NSW Interconnector

QNI Upgrade

Methodology for Assessing Competition Benefits

In June 2012, Powerlink and TransGrid published a joint Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR) regarding the potential upgrade of the Queensland/New South Wales Interconnector (QNI) in accordance with the AER's Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T).

As part of the RIT-T process, Powerlink and TransGrid are required to conduct an economic assessment into options for the upgrade of QNI. This process involves the use of market modelling and simulation techniques to quantify the market benefits associated with each option.

There are a number of classes of market benefits which are required to be considered as part of the RIT-T assessment. One of the classes of market benefits which could potentially be material when assessing the economic viability or ranking of the QNI upgrade options is competition benefits.

The methodology for assessing competition benefits has not been extensively developed in comparison to other classes of market benefits. To ensure that the assessment of competition benefits is carried out in a comprehensive manner, Powerlink and TransGrid have elected to consult on the proposed methodology for calculating competition benefits.

A copy of the Consultation Paper, together with reports from current and previous investigations, can be downloaded from the links below.

Submissions

TransGrid and Powerlink have published submissions to the PSCR and also to the Competition Benefits paper. The links to the documents appear below.

Additional submission are published on Powerlink's website.

Extension of time to publish the Project Assessment Draft Report

In June 2012, TransGrid and Powerlink formally commenced the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) for Development of the Queensland – NSW Interconnector (QNI) with the publication of a joint Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR).  The consultation period for the PSCR closed on 30 November 2012.

Under clause 5.16.4 (j) of the National Electricity Rules (NER), TransGrid and Powerlink are required to publish a Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) within 12 months of the end date of the consultation period for the PSCR, or such longer period as agreed in writing by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER).

In response to a request from TransGrid and Powerlink, the AER provided written consent on 29 November 2013 to extend the publication date of the PADR to 31 March 2014.