AusNet Services has submitted an application to the AER seeking an increase in their allowed revenue to fund the third and final tranche of their installation of Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiters (REFCLs). REFCLs are required to be installed under Victorian safety regulations.
On May 1, 2016, following the Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission after the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009, the Electricity Safety (Bushfire Mitigation) Amendment Regulations 2016 (Amended Bushfire Mitigation Regulations) came into effect in Victoria. The amended regulations require Victorian distributors to install REFCLs at designated zone substations in Victoria’s electricity distribution network. The purpose of the REFCL devices is to reduce the risk of a bushfire caused by fallen powerlines.
AusNet Services’ application is for the third of three tranches of REFCL installation that aim to meet the requirement that all the defined points in Victoria’s distribution network have REFCLs in operation by May 1, 2023.
Funding for a ‘contingent project’ is permitted under clause 6.6A.2 of the National Electricity Rules through an adjustment to the maximum allowed revenue under AusNet Services 2016-20 revenue determination.
Network revenue determinations are made by the AER and set out the revenue network businesses can collect from electricity consumers through charges within a defined period.
Details on how to make a submission can be found here.
Related article: New Queensland solar rules deemed “invalid” by Supreme Court