• Electricity Networks Access Code – Coverage Application

    The Electricity Networks Access Code 2004 (the Code) allows a ‘coverage’ application to be made to the Minister for Energy (the Minister) requesting that the whole or part of an electricity network be covered. If a network is covered then it is regulated and must have an approved access arrangement in place that sets out the undertakings made by the network, including terms, conditions, and price that apply to third parties seeking to use the network.

    Publication of Draft Coverage Decision

    On 27 November 2017 the Minister published a Draft Coverage Decision in respect to Alinta Energy’s Coverage Application. The Minister proposes to make a decision that Horizon Power’s electricity transmission and distribution network in the North West Interconnected System (NWIS) be covered under the Code.  

    The Minister for Energy invites interested persons to make a written submission on the Draft Coverage Decision. Pursuant to the Code, submissions will be considered before the Minister makes a Final Coverage Decision. 

    Submissions must be provided to the Department of Treasury by 5:00pm (WST) on 18 December 2017. Electronic copies of submissions are preferred and should be emailed to [email protected].

    Alternatively, submissions can be sent to:

    Attn: Noel Ryan
    Public Utilities Office
    Department of Treasury
    Locked Bag 11
    Cloisters Square WA 6850 

    Following the deadline for submissions to the Draft Coverage Decision, the Minister is required to make a Final Coverage Decision by 11 January 2018. 

    Extension of deadline for Draft Coverage Decision 

    The initial deadline for the making of a draft coverage decision was 6 November 2017. In accordance with the provisions of the Code, the Minister has extended the deadline for the draft decision to 27 November 2017

    Issues Paper

    On 15 September 2017, the Minister published an Issues Paper to assist stakeholders in making submissions to Alinta Energy’s application for coverage of  the Horizon Power NWIS  network. 

    The Issues Paper examined the matters raised in relation to Alinta Energy’s coverage application and outlined the Code’s criteria against which the coverage decision must be made. 

    The initial deadline for stakeholder submissions in response to the Issues Paper was 2 October 2017. On 1 October 2017 the Minister extended the deadline for submissions to 16 October 2017.

    The following six submissions were received in response to the Issues Paper: 

    One late submission was also received, from the Chamber of Minerals and Energy (CME):

    Coverage application received

    On 4 August 2017, the Minister received an application from Alinta Energy to have the portion of the North West Interconnected System (NWIS) owned and operated by Horizon Power covered by the Code. The NWIS is a regional electricity network in the Pilbara region.

    Alinta Energy’s coverage application is available below:

    Under section 3.5 of the Code, the Minister must approve a coverage application if the following criteria are met: 

    • access to covered services on the network would promote a material increase in competition in at least one market other than the market for the covered services provided by the network;
    • it would be uneconomic to develop another network to provide the covered services; and
    • access to the covered services would not be contrary to the public interest.

    The Code also requires the Minister to have regard to the geographical location of the network and the extent (if any) to which the network is interconnected with other networks.

    The Code determines the process that the Minister must follow in assessing a coverage application. It establishes stages for public consultation and timeframes for decision-making by the Minister.

    Contact for further information

    As part of its function, the Public Utilities Office is assisting the Minister in assessing the coverage application. All information on the coverage application will be available from this webpage.

    All enquiries on the coverage application process should be directed to:

    Mr Noel Ryan, Acting Director Energy Networks, Public Utilities Office on (08) 6551 4668 or [email protected].

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