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August 16
New generation licence approved: Batchelor Solar Farm Pty Ltd

​The Commission received an application from Batchelor Solar Farm Pty Ltd​ for a licence to generate electricity in accordance with section 21 of the Electricity Reform Act.

The Commission considered the application from Batchelor Solar Farm Pty Ltd in regard to the general factors specified in section 6(2) of the Utilities Commission Act and section 16 of the Electricity Reform Act.

In accordance with good regulatory practice, the Commission sought comments on the licence applications from market participants and stakeholders. Two submissions were received and considered by the Commission. 

- Territory Generation submission – generation licence application from BSF

- Power and Water System Control submission – generation licence application from BSF

- Power and Water System Control submission attachment A – draft Generation Performance Standards (v8.0)

- Power and Water System Control submission attachment B – CFAS

- Power and Water System Control submission attachment C – Line constraint

The Commission has decided to grant a generation licence to be issued to Batchelor Solar Farm Pty Ltd to construct, own and operate a 10 MW solar photovoltaic power generation facility on the Darwin-Katherine electricity network to sell the electricity to other electricity entities holding a retail or generation licence, accordance with Part 3 of the Electricity Reform Act.

The licences will be issued in due course.

In approving the generation licence, the Commission advised that possession of a licence does not guarantee dispatch, and that System Control will constrain output if necessary to maintain system reliability and service quality.

All licensees will be required to comply with the requirements of regulatory instruments, (such as the Network Technical Code and the System Control Technical Code), including any new requirements, such as the proposed Generator Performance Standards, that may come into force when instruments are amended, from time to time.

August 13
Port of Darwin: Changes to Tariffs for Standard Charges for Prescribed Services effective 1 August 2018

​On 1 August 2018, Darwin Port Operations Pty Ltd (DPO) increased its tariffs by 1.9 per cent, except for port induction fees which did not change. The 1.9 per cent increase is consistent with the national Consumer Price Index (CPI) rise for the 12 months to the March quarter 2018.

DPO also adopted a lower rate for privately operated cranes, removing alternative charges based on crane capacity in order to reduce existing administrative burdens. The Schedule of Port Charges has been updated to provide additional information or clarity to port users about tariffs. The updated schedule commenced on 1 August 2018 and is available on DPO’s website.

August 08
Consultation: Application for Generation Licence – Trutinor NT Pty Ltd

The Commission has received an application from Trutinor NT Pty Ltd as required by Section 14 of the Electricity Reform Act (the Act), for a licence to generate electricity in accordance with Section 21 of the Act.

Standard generation Licence Application – Trutinor NT Pty Ltd

Trutinor NT Pty Ltd is seeking to construct, own and operate a 12 MW gas-fired power generation facility on the Darwin-Katherine electricity network to sell the electricity to other electricity entities holding a retail or generation licence.

In deciding whether or not to issue a standard generation licence, Section 16(2)(b) of the Act requires the Commission to consider whether the proposed generating plant will have the necessary characteristics to generate electricity of the appropriate quality. Section 16(3) also requires the Commission to consider whether Trutinor NT Pty Ltd is suitable to hold a licence with regard to:

(a) the applicant's previous commercial and other dealings and the standard of honesty and integrity shown in those dealings;

(b) the financial, technical and human resources available to the applicant;

(c) the officers and, if applicable, major shareholders of the applicant and their previous commercial and other dealings and the standard of honesty and integrity shown in those dealings (including breaches of statutory and other legal obligations); and

(d) other matters prescribed by the Regulations.

In considering an application, the Commission will also have regard to the factors specified in Section 6(2) of the Utilities Commission Act.

In accordance with good regulatory practice, the Commission seeks comments on the licence application from market participants and stakeholders. Any comments should be provided by Wednesday 19 September 2018.  

Any comments or queries should be directed to Utilities Commission Office at utilities.commission@nt.gov.au or 08 8999 5480.

August 03
Pricing Orders: Specified procedures, a review of compliance with the Government’s pricing order is now available.

​PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC Australia) was engaged to undertake specified procedures regarding PWC and Jacana’s compliance with the Electricity Pricing Order (EPO) and the Water and Sewerage Pricing Order (WSPO). There were no major issues of concern, and Power and Water and Jacana both agree to improvements where issues have been identified. Issues related to:

- some related service charges not been reviewed annually by PWC

- calculation of estimated meter reads was not formally documented or periodically reviewed and validated

- there was a lack of periodic review of system thresholds for metering and billing validation tests.

Utilities Commission of the Northern Territory - Pricing Orders, Specified Procedures

August 01
Draft Report for the 2018 Ports Access and Pricing Review released – call for submissions

The Commission is required to review the access and price regulation regime established under Part 11 of the Ports Management Act and Part 3 of the Ports Management Regulations and deliver a report to the Minister by 15 November 2018. As this is the first review, it is due three years following the commencement of the regime. Subsequent reviews will be five-yearly.

The purpose of the review is to determine:

(a)  whether there is an ongoing need for regulatory oversight of access to, and pricing of, prescribed services provided by the private port operator

(b) whether there is a need to change the form of regulatory oversight of access, and if so, how

(c)  whether there is a need to change the form of regulatory oversight of prices, and if so, how

(d) whether amendments should be made to the access and pricing regime, and if so, the nature of those amendments.   

As part of the review, in February 2018 the Commission released an Issues Paper which identified topics to be considered as part of the review of the regime, seeking feedback from all stakeholders involved in the regulated ports industries. Submissions on the Issues Paper closed on 28 March 2018. Six submissions were received from stakeholders which are available on the Commission’s website.

The Draft Report considers the issues that were identified by the Commission in the Issues Paper as well as those raised by stakeholders in submissions and discussions. This report sets out the Commission’s draft findings and draft recommendations and seeks feedback from all stakeholders involved in the ports industry. All interested parties are invited to make submissions on the Draft Report by Friday 31 August 2018. Submissions on the Draft Report will inform the Commission’s Final Report which is due to the Minister by 15 November 2018.

In the interest of transparency, the Commission will make submissions publicly available with the exception of any confidential information, which includes:

- information that could affect the competitive position of an entity or other person

- or information that is commercially sensitive for some other reason.  

Submissions must clearly specify the document (or part of it) that contains confidential information. A version of the submission suitable for publication (that is, with any confidential information removed) should also be submitted.

To facilitate publication, submissions should be provided electronically by email to utilities.commission@nt.gov.au in Abode Acrobat or Microsoft Word format. 

Any questions regarding this Issues Paper or the review should be directed to the Utilities Commission by telephone (08) 8999 5480 or email utilities.commission@nt.gov.au

2018 Ports Access and Pricing Review – Draft Report

July 13
Power System Review 2016-17

The Utilities Commission (the commission) has released the 2016-17 Power System Review. On an annual basis, the commission is required by the Electricity Reform Act to prepare a Power System Review that reports on power system performance and capacity for the Darwin-Katherine, Alice Springs and Tennant Creek power systems.

For this review and in accordance with the requirements of s45 of the Electricity Reform Act, the commission focuses on:

• Forecasts of demand and generation reliability

• Fuel supply

• Performance of the power system

• Advice on the electricity industry and policy matters

The commission received assistance from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) in developing forecasts. The methodology used by AEMO is consistent with that used in the National Electricity Market.

The commission has also published an accompanying fact sheet for the Power System Review.

2016-17 Power System Review

2016-17 Power System Review: Fact Sheet

 

July 02
New Electricity Retail Licensee

​On 28 February 2018 the Commission decided to grant a retail licence to be issued to Next Business Energy Pty Ltd (Next Business) in accordance with Part 3 of the Electricity Reform Act subject to the following conditions being satisfied:

- Finalisation of Next Business’s network access agreement with Power and Water Corporation.

The network access agreement has now been executed and the Commission has issued a licence for the selling of electricity to Next Business Energy Pty Ltd in accordance with Part 3 of the Electricity Reform Act, with effect from 29 June 2018.

June 12
Updated Utilities Commission Strategic Statement

The Utilities Commission has updated its Strategic Statement​, which sets out the commission’s strategic statement, scope, performance standard’s, behaviour and priorities for 2018.​

May 29
Submissions Received on the Issues Paper for the 2018 Port Access and Pricing Review

​As part of the 2018 Ports Access and Pricing Review, the Commission released an Issues Paper Calling for submissions from all interested parties. The Commission received six submissions from port industry stakeholders, with one submission being made on a confidential basis.

In the interest of transparent decision making, the Commission has now published the submissions on its website, excluding any information that was marked confidential. The Issues Paper and submissions are available at http://www.utilicom.nt.gov.au/Ports/Pages/Review-of-the-Port-Access-and-Pricing-Regime.aspx 

The Commission is currently reviewing the submissions and will release the Draft Report for the 2018 Port Access and Pricing Review in July 2018.  

                                                                                                                                                       

 

May 27
Consultation: Submission Received for Generation Licence – Infigen Energy NT Solar Pty Ltd

​The Commission received an application from Infigen Energy NT Solar Pty Ltd (infigen) for a licence to generate electricity in accordance with Section 21 of the Electricity Reform Act.

In accordance with good regulatory practice, the Commission sought comments on the licence applications from market participants and stakeholders. Two submissions have been received. 

Territory Generation submission – generation licence application from Infigen

Power and Water System Control submission – generation licence application from Infigen 

Power and Water System Control submission attachment – draft Generation Performance Standards (v8.0)

As part of System Control’s submission, System Control has provided a further draft ‘Generator Performance Standards’ (GPS) to provide Infigen and other stakeholders a more substantial view of the type of technical requirements proposed for inclusion in the GPS. Industry consultation on the draft GPS is expected to occur in mid-2018.

For further information go to Consultation on licence applications.

Any comments or queries should be directed to Utilities Commission Office at utilities.commission@nt.gov.au or 08 8999 5480.

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