AGL Energy (AGL) welcomes the opportunity to comment on the NSW draft Network Infrastructure Strategy (NIS).
The need for timely and economically efficient network build
NSW has laid out its rationale for developing its own strategy for network infrastructure development separate to the national process. It will remain important to consider any efficiencies that can be built into the state development and approvals processes and its coordination with national planning to ensure timely infrastructure development.
In addition to speed, there is also the need for economically efficient build to minimise impacts on consumers who are already feeling the pinch of rising energy prices with the current cost of living crisis.
The principle of economic efficiency can also extend to the treatment of emerging technologies. With their inherently uncertain nature, it will be important to regularly refresh the NIS to more accurately predict future scale and the associated transmission build required. EnergyCo could identify features of emerging technologies that can aid build efficiency. For example, flexible loads such as hydrogen production and distributed energy resources (DER) could be managed to optimise supply-demand balance, thereby avoiding network overbuild.
Implementing the strategy will be no easy feat. EnergyCo’s challenge will be to minimise costs and impacts of the necessary transmission build on local communities, existing energy providers and energy consumers whilst delivering all the benefits a decarbonised grid will make possible.
A copy of AGL’s submission to the draft Network Infrastructure Strategy is available here.