Interconnector likely to cut electricity costs

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has given approval for construction of an interstate electricity connector which has the potential of stimulating green-power investment and lowering eastern state power prices.

The AER today approved the new South Australia-New South Wales interconnector, which will connect wind and solar production in South Australia with the east’s major electricity markets.

The new line will connect the mid-north region of SA which is particularly suited to wind power generation and is also experiencing a solar construction boom as the state moves towards 100 per cent renewable power.

SA has experienced negative wholesale prices on numerous occasions in the past year, which should put downward pressure on prices.

The new connector will also bring increased reliability in readiness for the anticipated closure of ageing coal-fired generators in NSW.

Clean Energy Council Director Energy Transformation Lillian Patterson said the decision was a positive move by the AER as it demonstrates the benefits that interconnection and renewables have for consumers.

“We strongly support the project, which passes through multiple renewable energy zones and will allow new renewable energy projects to connect to the National Electricity Market,” Ms Patterson said.

“Connecting more renewable energy projects will provide us with lower-cost and more diversified supply, which will increase reliability and ultimately result in lower energy prices for customers.

“This interconnector is important for the future of Australia’s National Electricity Market, as it builds a more flexible and resilient power system with more sources of clean energy.”

Construction can now commence on the interconnector, which a 330 kV line running from Robertstown in South Australia to Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, via Buronga.

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