The National Electricity Market’s (NEM) transmission network forms the backbone of our energy system. It transports electricity the long distances from where it is generated to where it is used by consumers in cities, towns and regional communities. And it enhances the reliability of our energy system by diversifying the types and location of energy supply available to keep the lights on.
As our generation mix evolves, we need to make sure our transmission network is fit for purpose. The cost of transmission is borne by consumers. But sensible transmission investments can improve affordability by helping to share reliable generation resources across the NEM, improve wholesale market competition, open renewable energy zones, and connect large scale storage.
The Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) Integrated System Plan (ISP) provides a twenty-year forecast of the NEM’s energy infrastructure needs. This includes a list of recommended transmission projects needed to keep our system reliable and secure into the future, including the transmission needed to connect Snowy 2.0.
Through the COAG Energy Council, we are working to secure reforms that will ensure delivery of AEMO’s recommended transmission projects in a timely manner. This will bring forward necessary transmission investment, at least cost to energy consumers.
The Australian Government has also established the Priority Transmission Taskforce to develop a framework for speeding up the delivery of transmission projects identified in AEMO’s ISP.
The Australian Government is also partnering with the Tasmanian Government to deliver Marinus Link, a new transmission interconnector, designed to provide an additional 1200 megawatts of capacity between Tasmania and the mainland. The Commonwealth has provided a $56 million contribution to help take Marinus Link from feasibility stage to a final investment decision.
Marinus Link would allow over 400 megawatts of spare generation capacity to be transmitted from Tasmania to Victoria which, due to limited capacity of the existing interconnector, is currently unavailable. It will also provide the extra capacity needed to expand Tasmania’s pumped Hydro capacity through the Battery of the Nation project and unlock a pipeline of renewable energy investment across Tasmania.