Day Three review:

The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission has today heard from several experts from the electricity sector, covering topics such as current power use through to future electricity generation options.

The topic covered today was the National Electricity Market – Structure and Operation.

The first witness was David Swift, Executive General Manager, Corporate Development at the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). His evidence covered forecasting as well as the energy markets in eastern and southern Australia. He also discussed:

  • Overview of the NEM structure and operation
  • The future of the NEM – impacts of decentralisation and efficiency measures.

Three representatives from ElectraNet, the owner and operator of the high voltage 275kV transmission system in South Australia were also called. Rainer Korte, Executive Manager Asset Management, Hugo Klingenberg, from the Network Development business unit, and Brad Harrison, Principal Energy Market Analyst were all questioned, covering:

  • The current state of transmission in South Australia
  • Changes in demand and electricity generation technologies over the next 20 years and how this might affect the transmission network
  • Potential developments in grid-level storage technologies over the next 20 years and how this might affect the transmission network.

The first witness after the lunch break was Craig Oakeshott, from the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), the body responsible for monitoring the operations of market participants to ensure compliance with Rules and Legislation. He discussed:

  • Broad overview of AER’s role
  • Regulatory requirements applicable to new electricity generation facilities
  • How upgrades to network infrastructure are regulated.

Mark Vincent, Senior Manager at SA Power Networks, was the final witness for the day, and completed Topic 2. His evidence covered:

  • Overall future trends in the network and the key drivers of these
  • Impacts of decentralisation on the distribution network
  • Potential future developments in battery technology and solar PV at the household level and the impact on the network.

Video and transcripts of each session will be uploaded into the Public Sessions archive.

The next public session begins at 9am, Tuesday, September 22, 2015, in the Commission’s office, 50 Grenfell St, Adelaide, with the next session to be held on the following day at 9am.

Click here for topic and witness lists for Day One, Topic 3 – Geology and hydrogeology of South Australia.

**Please note: Witness Professor John Quiggin (Topic 1) will also appear next week, on Wednesday, September 23 at 2pm.