How to apply for a licence
Entities wishing to apply for a South Australian electricity licence should read Advisory Bulletin which outlines the procedure for the issuing of licences. To apply, entities must complete and submit a separate application form (refer below), for each type of licence that is being sought from the Commission.
Following receipt of a complete application and the payment of the application fee (as applicable), the Commission will conduct public consultation of a minimum of four weeks. The Commission will consider any submissions received and where appropriate, seek further information from the applicant to inform its assessment of the application. Applicants should allow 16 weeks for a completed licence application to be assessed.
Please note that, if an incomplete application is submitted or if further substantiating information is required, the Commission will seek further information from the applicant. The 16 week assessment process will only commence once all relevant information has been provided. You are therefore encouraged to contact the Commission at an early stage to understand any information requirements which may be relevant to your application.
For information on the fees applicable to the licence refer to licence fees.
Licence application forms
Transmission or distribution
Further information for generators
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, Regulation 15 of the Electricity (General) Regulations 2012 (Regulations) provides statutory exemptions for generators in certain circumstances.
Any entity relying on a statutory exemption should ensure that its generation operations meet the criteria prescribed in the Regulations at all times. Failure to do so will give rise to a breach of the Electricity Act and possible enforcement action. 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.
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.
The Technical Regulator advises the Commission on whether the generating plant suitable for the South Australian network and may suggest the inclusion of additional licence conditions to maintain system security. Further, the Technical Regulator also requires developers to include power system security services as part of their South Australian-based projects and has released a guideline specifying the technical requirements that generators above 5 megawatts must meet before seeking development approval.
AEMO is responsible for registering applicants a Generator in the National Electricity Market, or granting exemption from registration, in accordance with the National Electricity Rules (Rules). Applicants must confirm to AEMO that they meet the technical requirements set out in the Rules. Further, applicants must demonstrate to AEMO that they can meet the conditions prescribed in the Commission’s Licensing arrangements for generators in South Australia. The Commission seeks AEMO’s advice on each generators ability to comply with these requirements.
Please note that in order to maintain power system security, AEMO limits non-synchronous generation in South Australia when only a minimum strength requirement is met. Applicants should refer to AEMO’s Transfer Limit Advice – South Australia System Strength, for further information.