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Jul 30 2020

ISP approach welcomed

The Australian Energy Council welcomes the release of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Integrated System Plan 2020.

The Council’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, said: “The ISP is important in identifying strategic shifts in the energy market and ensures there is a national approach to system planning.

“We welcome AEMO’s decision to consider multiple scenarios and allow for staged implementation of two major projects during the 2020s, making use of the proposed 'decision rules' structure.

“This optionality will ensure flexibility and allow adjustment to be made based on market conditions. It helps the industry get ready in case they are ultimately needed but does not commit customer funds earlier than strictly necessary.

“We agree with the market operator’s judgement that critical care is needed in progressing projects,” said Ms McNamara.

“The cost of building each new transmission project must be carefully considered. Each transmission and network investment will also unavoidably affect generation investments.

“Robust assessment of project cost-benefits remains vital to ensuring not just the appropriate timing, but also protection of customers who will pay for the new links and a predictable framework for generation investors,” Ms McNamara said.

“Whilst AEMO has provided a broad, national plan, the task now shifts to planning these projects in detail and justifying their cost-benefits before the regulator. This is an equally critical part of the process,” Ms McNamara said.

About the Australian Energy Council

The Council represents 22 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses operating in competitive wholesale and retail energy markets. These businesses collectively generate the overwhelming majority of electricity in Australia and sell gas and electricity to over 10 million homes and businesses.

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