AusNet Services undertook this Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) to evaluate options to apply corrective actions to towers across freeways to minimise the hazards and risks to the safety of any person as far as reasonably practicable. This action complies with its regulatory obligation to the Electricity Safety Act 1998.
The Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR), which represents the first step in the RIT-T process was published in April 2022, while the Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) was deemed unnecessary in accordance with clause 5.16.4 (z1) of the Rules for the following reasons:
- the preferred option, has a capital cost of less than $46 million, which is below the threshold amount.
- the PSCR identified the preferred option and explained our reasons for selecting it; and
- the credible options will not have a material class of market benefits except for those specified in clause 5.15A(b)(4)(ii).
Publication of this Project Assessment Conclusions Report (PACR) represents the third and final step in the RIT-T process in accordance with clause 5.16 of the National Electricity Rules (NER) and section 4.2 of the RIT-T Application Guidelines.
As the identified need in this case arises from the design of towers along the MSS-DDTS circuit, which do not comply with the current overhead line design standard, there are no credible non-network options that could address this identified need. In effect, the nature of the risks is asset-related and cannot be mitigated by a non-network option given the significant costs of retiring the assets.
AusNet Services concludes that the upgrading of the 56 towers along the MSS-DDTS Nos. 1 and 2 circuits is the most economic option to address the identified need as it provides the highest present value of net economic benefits for all scenarios and sensitivities investigated with an optimal timing starting in 2024 with project completion in 2026.