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September 25
Consultation: Submission Received for Application for Licence Exemption – Origin Energy Retail No.2 Pty Ltd

The Commission received an application from Origin Energy Retail No.2 Pty Ltd for an exemption from licensing for the generation and selling of electricity in accordance with Section 87 of the Electricity Reform Act.

In accordance with good regulatory practice, the Commission sought comments on the licence exemption application from market participants and stakeholders. One submission was received. 

Power and Water System Control submission – licence exemption application from Origin Energy Retail No.2 Pty Ltd

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

Power and Water System Control submission Attachment B – draft C-FCAS Fast, Slow and Delayed Raise/Lower Services

As part of System Control’s submission, System Control has provided the latest draft ‘Generator Performance Standards’ (GPS) to provide Origin Energy Retail No.2 Pty Ltd 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.

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.

September 25
Consultation: Submissions Received for Generation Licence – Trutinor NT Pty Ltd

The Commission received an application from Trutinor NT Pty Ltd 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 application from market participants and stakeholders. Two submissions were received. 

Territory Generation submission – generation licence application from Trutinor NT Pty Ltd

Power and Water System Control submission – generation licence application from Trutinor NT Pty Ltd

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

Power and Water System Control submission Attachment B – draft C-FCAS Fast, Slow and Delayed Raise/Lower Services

As part of System Control’s submission, System Control has provided the latest draft ‘Generator Performance Standards’ (GPS) to provide Trutinor NT Pty Ltd 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.

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.

September 17
Approved Targets for Power and Water Corporation (Networks) 2019-20 to 2023-24

​Under clause 3 of the Electricity Industry Performance Code (EIP), the Commission has approved new performance targets for Power and Water Corporation’s (PWC) network business for their next determination, from 2019-20 to 2023-24.

On 25 October 2017, the Electricity Standards of Service Code was formerly updated and merged with the Guarantee Service Level Code to form a new EIP Code.   As per the ESS Code, the EIP Code requires network licence holders (i.e. PWC) to submit for approval performance targets for their regulatory determinations. However, the EIP Code changed the definition for urban feeders, resulting in changes to the list of feeders classified as urban and rural short feeders. Thus the current targets are not directly comparable to the new targets.

Additionally, the new EIP Code does not require separate reporting on feeders used as transmission lines.  Therefore, transmission lines will now be absorbed into distribution feeder reporting.

The Target Methodology

PWC is required to propose targets based on System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIFI) performance standards. SAIDI is an index showing the length of time customers are without power and SAIFI is an index showing the frequency of power interruptions to customer’s power.

For both performance indicators, the lower the better.

Table 1 sets out the approved performance targets.

Table 1: Approved Performance Targets

Feeder Category Measure​ Commission Approved Target
(2019-2024)
CBD​ ​SAIDI ​4.0
​SAIFI ​0.1
​Urban ​ ​SAIDI ​140
​SAIFI ​2.0
​Rural Short ​ ​SAIDI ​190
​SAIFI ​3.0
​Rural Long ​ ​SAIDI ​1500
​SAIFI ​19.0
 
September 11
Submissions received on the Draft Report for the 2018 Ports Access and Pricing Review

​On 20 July 2018, the Commission released the Draft Report for the 2018 Ports Access and Pricing Review calling for submissions from all interested parties. The Commission received four submissions from port industry stakeholders. In the interest of transparent decision making, the Commission has now published the submissions. The Draft Report and submissions are available at Review of the Port Access and Pricing Regime.

The Commission is currently considering the submissions which will inform the Final Report. The Final Report will be delivered to the Minister by 15 November 2018. Once the Final report is tabled in Parliament, it will be published on the Commission’s website.

September 05
No GSL payments relating to Tropical Cyclone Marcus

On Saturday 17 March 2018 Tropical Cyclone Marcus impacted Darwin and has now been officially named as the most damaging storm since Cyclone Tracy devastated the city in 1974. Heavy rainfall, damaging winds in excess of 130km per hour and fallen trees caused major damage to Darwin’s power network infrastructure. TC Marcus was rated as a category two cyclone.

Just over 28 500 electricity customers lost power, or 33% of customers and more than 500 line spans went down. Around 11 000 customers were restored by Power and Water Corporation (PWC) within 24 hours, and 200 customers remained without power 11 days after the event. The majority of the power outages resulted from damage to the network caused by large falling trees. No generation assets were tripped offline during the cyclone, despite large fluctuations on the network. 

The Northern Territory of Australia, Electricity Industry Performance Code (Standards of Service and Guaranteed Service Levels) (EIP) provides that where network providers (that is, PWC) do not meet minimum performance standards they are to make Guaranteed Service Level (GSL) payments to impacted customers. The EIP Code sets out certain exclusions from normal reporting and GSL payments, including natural events as classified by the US Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers’ (IEEE) 2.5 Beta method. The Beta method is a statistical method to quantify events that are outside normal operational boundaries, and thus should be considered separately from normal (underlying) performance reporting.  

This report sets out that TC Marcus meets the 2.5 Beta method criteria and therefore PWC is excluded from making GSL payments to impacted customers.  The Northern Territory Government made available a $250 and $400 Immediate Relief Payment for households that were without mains power for more than 72 hours.

Tropical Cyclone Marcus Natural Event Report: Electricity Industry Performance Code

August 23
Consultation: Application for Licence Exemption – Origin Energy Retail No.2 Pty Ltd

The Commission has received an application from Origin Energy Retail No.2 Pty Ltd (Origin) for an exemption from a licence to generate and sell electricity in accordance with Section 87 of the Electricity Reform Act.

The Commission is seeking stakeholder feedback. Additional information is available below.

Submissions are due by Monday noon 17 September 2018, no late submissions will be accepted.

Licence Exemption Application issues paper – Origin Energy Retail No.2 Pty Ltd

Appendix A Origin Energy Retail No.2 Pty Ltd exemption application

Appendix B Part 3 Licence provisions

Appendix C Alcan-Gove Pty Ltd exemption

Appendix D GPT and Innogen Australia Pty Ltd exemption

Appendix E Small Scale Renewable Energy Operations exemption

Origin is seeking to construct, own and operate a PV system at two sites owned by Charles Darwin University (CDU). This includes a 1.1 MW system at CDU Casuarina and a 325 kilowatt (kW) system at CDU Alice Springs, which will be connected to the Darwin-Katherine and Alice Springs system respectively.

In assessing whether an entity should be exempt from the Part 3 licensing requirements of the ER Act, the Commission considers a number of factors. Firstly is there sufficient justification for an exemption while still promoting the objectives of the ER Act and the general objectives of the UC Act. In a similar approach to considering a licence application the Commission would also consider whether the entity is a suitable person to carry out operations in the electricity supply industry.

To streamline any subsequent process should the exemption application be unsuccessful, The Commission also intends to consider the suitability of Origin for a licence to sell electricity. 

In deciding whether or not to issue an electricity retail licence, Section 16(2)(d) of the Act requires the Commission to consider whether the applicant will be able to meet the reasonably foreseeable obligations for the sale of electricity. Section 16(3) also requires the Commission to consider whether Origin 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)

(d) other matters prescribed by the Regulations.

In accordance with good regulatory practice, the Commission seeks comments on the licence exemption application and associated issues paper. Any comments should be provided by Monday noon 17 September 2018, no late submissions will be accepted  

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

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

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