Court fines Pelican Point for electricity rules breach

Gavel and bag of money on scale (pelican point)
Image: Shutterstock

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has welcomed the Federal Court’s order that Pelican Point Power Limited pay a pecuniary penalty of $900,000 for breaches of the National Electricity Rules during a heat wave in 2017.

Related article: AER begins action over Callide C performance standards

The Federal Court found that Pelican Point breached the rules by failing to comply with its legal obligation to disclose short term availability information relating to its gas-fired power station to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) during heat wave conditions in February 2017.

Further, the Court found that Pelican Point breached the rules by failing to promptly notify AEMO that the medium term availability information previously submitted for the power station had increased.

In his judgment, Justice Besanko said, “[I]t must be acknowledged and taken into account that the nature of the obligations breached are important and are intended to enable AEMO to manage the reliability of the power system.”

AER chair Clare Savage welcomed the Court’s decision following proceedings that commenced in 2019 after the non-payment of an infringement notice issued by the AER to Pelican Point for an alleged breach of the Rules.

Savage noted that the provision of accurate and timely availability information was key to AEMO’s management of the power system and to ensure safe and reliable power supply to consumers.

“The outcome is a timely reminder of the important overarching obligation to notify AEMO of any changes to submitted information and has broad applicability for a range of participants,” she said.

Related article: AER takes Santos to court for alleged breaches of gas rules

“It is not a matter of set and forget when it comes to information submitted to AEMO— participants must continually monitor market conditions, plant capabilities and other relevant factors and notify AEMO promptly of relevant changes.”

Previous articleHorizon Power’s Smart Connect Solar expands to NWIS
Next articlePaper reveals offshore wind projects can protect habitats