Inquiry into reliability and quality of electricity supply on the Eyre Peninsula - final report

27 Oct 2017

The Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy has released the Commission's final report on the Inquiry's into the reliability and quality of electricity supply on the Eyre Peninsula.

The Inquiry has found that the most cost effective options for improving reliability of supply on the Eyre Peninsula in the short term (within the next 2 years) include installing diesel generators near Yadnarie, Ceduna and Streaky Bay.

Cost effective medium-term options for improving reliability of supply include targeted network hardening (re-insulating feeders prone to lightning strikes), which could be implemented over the next 3 to 5 years.

The best long-term options for improving reliability will depend on future electricity demand on the Eyre Peninsula, which will be heavily dependent on whether or not the Iron Road magnetite project proceeds. If it proceeds, the electricity infrastructure will need to be augmented to support the higher demand, which would largely be funded by Iron Road as the primary cause for the change in demand. If it does not proceed, ElectraNet will at least have to replace the existing Cultana to Port Lincoln transmission line, which is at the end of its useful life.

The Inquiry has received representations suggesting poor quality of supply (voltage variations) in parts of the Eyre Peninsula, although complaints data suggests there are few problems. To determine whether there are quality of supply problems, the Commission has requested that SA Power Networks install voltage testing equipment at particular locations on the Eyre Peninsula. That equipment was installed in July 2017 at six sites and data on voltage outcomes will be reported over the coming months. The Technical Regulator is providing independent oversight of that process.

The Commission will consider options that produce cost effective reliability improvements in its upcoming review of the reliability standards under the Electricity Distribution Code. As the costs of any distribution reliability improvement to the Eyre Peninsula would be borne by all South Australian distribution customers, the Commission will take into account customers’ willingness to contribute towards the cost of those improvements before changing any standards.

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