Recent changes to the National Electricity Rules gave
the industry more certainty, but do they go far enough to
facilitate a new breed of renewable generators?
Recent updates to the Rules give the renewable energy industry
more certainty on timeframes and processes for establishing new
network connections, but according to key players, they don't
go far enough.
The revised Rules detail new processes for connection for
smaller generators (up to 5MW) and for larger generators (above
Smaller generators now deal with a shorter and more flexible
regime, while larger generators are subject to a longer, more
defined and detailed process.
Feedback from the renewable energy industry suggests that for
solar and renewable energy to become more viable alternatives,
especially in urban areas with greater concentrations of customers,
further changes to the Rules are required.
In the eyes of the renewable energy industry, the Rules do not
guarantee connection for them, as they must negotiate directly with
the networks for their connections. This results in the renewable
energy industry's view that it is too difficult to introduce
additional renewable generation capacity into the electricity
market within a suitable time frame.
They are advocating for the introduction of a regulated access
regime as a more effective alternative to ensure connection of
renewable generators. The Clean Energy Council has indicated that
it supports adoption of a regulated access regime in the Rules for
the renewable energy industry.
It remains to be seen whether Governments will support this push
or whether they take the view that the current regime provides
sufficient assurances to the renewable industry concerning the
connections they require given the need to balance these
connections with the network owners issues of increased embedded
generation and growing network management complexity.
Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide
commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon
as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular
transactions or on matters of interest arising from this bulletin.
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