AEMO published its 2022 Integrated System Plan (ISP) on 30 June 2022 setting out the investment needed over the next 30 years to transition the energy sector to a future dominated by renewable energy. Implementing the ISP will require an unprecedented level of investment in new electricity transmission infrastructure. AEMO forecasts that around 10,000 km of new transmission lines will be needed under the two most likely scenarios. That would increase to over 40,000 km of new transmission network and connection assets if AEMO’s ‘hydrogen superpower’ scenario eventuates.

Building such a large amount of new infrastructure will test our regulatory frameworks for how we manage transmission investment, planning, regulatory approvals and economic regulation. Obtaining social licence and engaging effectively with landowners and local communities will also be critical.

The AEMC is currently considering many of these issues as part of its Transmission planning and investment review. The AEMC recently published an options paper seeking stakeholder views on whether increased contestability of major transmission investments could be part of the solution to these issues and provide an alternative to the current economic regulatory framework for major projects.

Farrierswier staff Richard Owens, Claire Rozyn and Geoff Swier are pleased to be assisting the AEMC with aspects of its review, including the workstreams on contestability and social licence. We hope the options paper on contestability and the strawperson contestability models set out in the paper can help inform a discussion amongst stakeholders on whether contestability is likely to have benefits that outweigh the costs.

Read more at the AEMC website: