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GENB1/1 Bulletin no 1 - General information

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Generation Bulletin no 1 - General information

The Commission’s primary objective under the Essential Services Commission Act 2002 is to protect the long-term interests of South Australian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services. One of those functions, as set out in the Electricity Act 1996, is to licence electricity generators.

Under the Electricity Act 1996, a person is not permitted to generate electricity unless they hold a licence issued by the Commission. However, certain generation exemptions apply from the requirement to be licenced (refer Bulletin no 2 – Licensing requirements).

The Commission licences around 6.8 gigawatt of conventional, wind, solar, battery and hydro generation. This includes a range of generation operations including small generation supplying remote electricity networks, rooftop solar arrays and large grid-scale generation operations participating in the National Electricity Market. 

Existing generation licences and exemptions contain the mandatory and/or technical conditions that apply to specific generation operations. These are available to view on the electricity licence and exemption register. Generation licensees are required to report to the Commission on compliance with regulatory requirements. 

Electricity generators in South Australia are also regulated by other bodies such as the Office of the Technical Regulator, Australian Energy Regulator and Australian Energy Market Operator. The Commission works closely with those bodies but is not responsible for those other regulatory requirements or outcomes.


GENB2/1 Bulletin no 2 - Licensing requirements

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Generation Bulletin no 2 - Licensing requirements

Section 15 of the Electricity Act 1996 (Electricity Act) requires that a licence is required for all entities undertaking operations in the electricity industry that involve the generation of electricity. However, certain generation exemptions apply from the requirement to be licenced, including:

Any entity relying on an exemption should ensure that its generation operations meet the criteria prescribed at all times. The onus is on an entity to demonstrate that its operations are exempt from the requirement to be licenced. If an entity is unsure, it is recommended that a generation licence be sought from the Commission.

All new generators, regardless of technology or type, seeking to connect to the South Australian power system must have the capabilities to contribute to a secure and resilient power system that meets the modern (and future) needs of South Australian consumers. The Commission’s 2017 model licence conditions for new generators (amended) require generators with a rated nameplate capacity of 5MW or more to comply with technical conditions relating to:

  • disturbance ride-through– voltage phase angle shift
  • system strength, and
  • system restoration.

An application for an electricity licence must be made to the Commission, complying with the following requirements: 

  • in a form approved by the Commission 
  • contain the information specified in the form  
  • payment of an application fee, as reasonable costs for determining the application, and 
  • any relevant information that the Commission requires with respect to the licence application.

The Commission has published resources for entities wishing to apply for a new, transferred, or varied electricity licence. These reference documents set out the process and requirements to apply for a licence, issued by the Commission, pursuant to the Act. 

Information on licensing requirements for electricity entities can be accessed at the Licence applications page.

In considering an application, the Commission seeks advice from the Technical Regulator and Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). Applicants must demonstrate compliance with the Technical Regulator's and AEMO’s technical requirements, prior to the issue of a generation licence.

GENB3/1 Bulletin no 3 - Regulatory obligations

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Generation Bulletin no 3 - Regulatory obligations

 

Generation licence holders have ongoing compliance obligations in respect of their generation operations. As a condition of licence, generators are required to comply with the following regulatory instruments:

  • Electricity Act 1996
  • Electricity (General) Regulations 2012
  • Electricity Generation Licence 

The Commission expects that licensees have, and rigorously adhere to, a sound and robust compliance system. Licensees are expected to regularly examine, identify and comply with all obligations that apply to their licenced operations. 

The sections that follow summarise the types of obligations generation licence holders must comply with. Please note, obligations may vary for individual licensees.

 
Electricity Act 1996  and Regulations
  • Requirement for licence
  • Licence fees and returns
  • Offence to contravene licence conditions
  • Transfer of licence
  • Surrender of licence
  • Initial electricity pricing order
  • Standard terms and conditions for sale or supply of electricity
  • Prevention of dismantling of electricity infrastructure 
  • Electricity officers
  • Powers and duties relating to infrastructure
  • Clearance of vegetation for powerlines
  • Technical and safety requirements related to infrastructure 
  • Reporting of accidents
  • Obstruction
  • False or misleading information
Electricity generation licence
  • Notify a ‘material’ breach of an Industry Code
  • Unfit or unable to continue operations
  • Public safety and system security (Compatibility)
  • Access 
  • Dispute resolution 
  • Compliance with Codes
  • Safety, Reliability, Maintenance and Technical Management Plan
  • System Controller and AEMO
  • National electricity market
  • Information to the Commission
  • Operational and compliance audits
  • Confidentiality
  • Community service
  • Compatibility
  • Insurance 
  • Compliance with Laws
  • Switching manual
  • Technical licence conditions

GENB4/1 Bulletin no 4 - Reporting requirements

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Generation Bulletin no 4 - Reporting requirements

Generation licence holders have ongoing monitoring and reporting obligations in respect of compliance with regulatory requirements. As a condition of licence, generators are required to report in accordance with the following regulatory instruments:

  • Guideline No 4 - Compliance systems and reporting
  • Electricity Generation Licence

Key dates for generation operators regulatory reporting each year are shown below.

 
Date Reporting requirement Guideline
30 June Request for alternate sign-off arrangements No 4 - Compliance systems and reporting
31 August Annual compliance report No 4 - Compliance systems and reporting
Within 3 business days of becoming aware of the breach Material compliance breach report No 4 - Compliance systems and reporting
Within 30 days of the change occurring Change in office holders or major stakeholders Electricity generation licence
Each year (preferred with annual compliance report) Insurance Electricity generation licence


The sections that follow summarise the types of reporting requirements generation licence holders must comply with. 

Guideline No 4 - Compliance systems and reporting

The Commission adopts a multi-tiered approach to compliance reporting, based on a risk assessment of obligations arising under applicable regulatory instruments (for example, the Electricity Act, Regulation and electricity generation licence). 

The Commission expects that generation licence holders will monitor compliance with all regulatory obligations throughout the year and resolve any potential non-compliances as they arise. However, the Commission only requires reporting on these regulatory obligations as follows:

Material breach compliance reports must be provided to the Commission in the form set out in Guideline No.1. If a generation licence holder breaches a Type 1 obligation (as prescribed in Guideline No. 4), or an obligation that the Commission or licensee otherwise considers to be “material”, a report must be provided as soon as the generation licence holder becomes aware of the breach and, in any event, no later than 3 days after becoming aware that the breach has occurred.

Annual compliance reports must be provided to the Commission by 31 August of each reporting year, in respect of all regulatory obligations in the form set out in Energy Guideline No. 4. Generation licence holders are required to 
warrant to the Commission, the accuracy of information contained in their annual compliance report.

Reporting proformas and sign-off requirements are detailed in the guideline. Licensees should ensure the correct proforma is used and that reports are approved and signed per the guideline requirements. 

Generation licence holders may request an alternate sign-off arrangements. This request must be received by 30 June in the relevant reporting year. Requests may be submitted to compliance@escosa.sa.gov.au using the form available below. 

 
Electricity generation licence

It is a condition of each Electricity Generation Licence that a licensee must:

  • notify the Commission of any changes to its officers, and (if applicable) major shareholders, within 30 days of that change, and
  • provide to the Commission a certificate of the insurer or the insurance broker by whom the insurance was arranged (in a form acceptable to the Commission) to the effect that such insurance is adequate and appropriate, given the nature of the licensee’s activities conducted under this licence and the risks associated with those activities.

Please refer to Guideline No 4 - Compliance and reporting and individual Electricity Generation Licences, for further information.

Completed reports must be submitted to the Commission via email to reporting@escosa.sa.gov.au.  Alternatively, access to a secure file sharing application can be provided each year on request.  

GENB5/1 Bulletin no 5 - Templates

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Generation Bulletin no 5 - Templates

Completed reports must be submitted to the Commission via email to reporting@escosa.sa.gov.au.  

Alternatively, access to a secure file sharing application can be provided each year on request.

Completed forms must be submitted to the Commission via email to compliance@escosa.sa.gov.au. 
Alternatively, access to a secure file sharing application can be provided each year on request.