Energy networks call for longer notice for generator closure

Energy Networks Australia is calling for an increase in the notice period companies are required to provide the market when closing electricity generators.

In its submission today to the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC), Energy Networks Australia has recommended the time-of-closure notice be extended from three to five years to allow networks enough time to build infrastructure to support new electricity generation.

Chief executive officer Andrew Dillon said giving the market more time would ensure the whole system could cope when existing generation was retired.

“Three years may be enough notice when the replacement generation is easily incorporated into the existing grid, but it’s a tight squeeze if the retirement triggers a need for new infrastructure such as interconnectors,” he said.

“Transmission and distribution networks will continue to have a fundamental role in ensuring power system reliability and security.

“We don’t want to build new network infrastructure that may not be needed, but we’ll all be in trouble if major generation closures lead to major system risks.

“The sudden closure of Hazelwood highlights that we have to get this right.

“Pushing out the notice period to five years will provide more certainty and help increase the delivery of required transmission assets within the five-year window – factoring in approvals, environmental assessments, project plans and build time.”