Web kit to guide Victorian transmission connections

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) launched a web-based information kit that provides a step-by-step guide to the transmission network connections process in Victoria.

The kit is designed to be a comprehensive ‘one stop shop’ for network connections information, the new website tool provides practical advice including technical requirements, costs and timeframes for processing applications, as well as access to commercial and technical policies and guidelines.

It is a component of the Victorian Connections Initiative program to introduce streamlined and cost effective processes for connecting generators and loads to Victoria’s shared electricity network.

“The Connections Initiative program was initiated by AEMO in response to stakeholder feedback calling for greater transparency of policies and processes, more efficient planning of long-term requirements and a more competitive environment for augmentation service provision,” Connections Initiatives senior manager Margarida Pimentel said.

Members of the Victorian Connections Industry Reference Group (VCIRG) and selected generators took the opportunity to review and interact with the online kit in October 2011.

“Feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with users praising the prototype as being information-rich, user-friendly, and an excellent start to a valuable resource,” Ms Pimentel said.

The web-based information kit draws together three separate projects identified under the Victorian Connection Initiatives Program – terminal station requirements, information, and process and procurement.

The terminal station requirement component of the project includes guidelines for establishing terminal stations, guidelines for shared transmission connections and a cost-allocation policy for Victoria.

These documents address contractual, technical, and commercial fundamentals of transmission infrastructure planning and funding, aim to create cost efficiencies and also help guide and manage community expectations.

A procurement project is exploring the principles underpinning various connections contracts. This project also considers new options for procuring transmission infrastructure, and a new procurement framework proposal is being developed for consultation with industry in 2012.

“The consultation will focus on promoting greater competition, and providing generators with more direct control over construction timeframes and costs,” Ms Pimentel said.