AEMO outlines transmission’s role in the future grid

Energy Networks Australia has welcomed the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) recognition in today’s Insights paper on the importance of transmission to support our transforming system.

The paper is a supplement to the 2018 Integrated System Plan (ISP) and identifies transmission investments needed to connect pumped hydro storage options with customers in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.

Energy Networks Australia Acting Chief Executive Officer Tamatha Smith said that around the world, the logical response to growing levels of renewable generation was to create a more connected system.

“Transmission is our electricity superhighway and more strategically placed transmission means more power can reach more customers with greater reliability,” Ms Smith said.

“Coordinated investments in transmission and interconnections between states will ensure electricity from new generation can be shared across the National Electricity Market.

“This will support better reliability and system security as coal-fired power stations retire and put downward pressure on wholesale prices, which means lower bills for customers.”

Snowy Hydro 2.0 in NSW and the Battery of the Nation Project in Tasmania offer significant potential for storage and electricity generation but will require new transmission links to unlock their full potential.

“The priority for network businesses is to keep costs for customers as low as possible while ensuring new generation can be integrated into the electricity system efficiently,” Ms Smith said.

“Transmission costs are a very small component of power bills and a more connected system is a more competitive system, which will put downward pressure on power prices.

“As highlighted by AEMO, it will be important the projects identified in the ISP and Insights paper are progressed in a timely manner. It also is important that we have regulatory and policy certainty to support the investment required.”