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Background information

Definitions

Transmission grid

A transmission grid is a system, or part of a system, of electric lines, substations and associated equipment providing connection between generation facilities and supply networks or customers not supplied through supply networks.

Supply network

A supply network (also called a distribution network) is a system, or part of a system, of electric lines, substations and associated equipment, other than a transmission grid, for distributing electricity to customers, whether or not a generating plant is connected to it.

Network service provider

A network service provider is a person who owns, controls or operates a transmission or distribution network and, for networks connected to the national grid, is registered by AEMO as a Network Service Provider.

To operate in Queensland, a network service provider must also be the holder of a transmission or distribution authority.

There are currently 4 transmission network service providers authorised to operate in Queensland:

  • Powerlink Queensland
  • Galilee Transmission Pty Ltd (GTPL)
  • ElectraNet Pty Limited
  • AusNet Transmission Group Pty Ltd, trading as AusNet Services

There are also 2 distribution network service providers authorised to operate in Queensland:

  • Energex
  • Ergon Energy.

Preliminary discussions

You should discuss your infrastructure requirements and options with the network service provider operating the network you wish to connect to. This is an important step in determining the specific infrastructure needs, what infrastructure will best meet your requirements, where the infrastructure should be located and who will be responsible for design, build and operation of the infrastructure.

Electricity authorities

If you intend to operate the infrastructure, you will need an appropriate electricity authority (licence), unless the infrastructure is to be located wholly on land you own or lease. Depending on the infrastructure and your arrangements, this could be a:

  • Transmission authority - allows you to operate a transmission grid and may also authorise you to connect your transmission grid to another transmission grid.
  • Distribution authority - allows you to supply electricity using a supply network within the distribution area stated in the authority.
  • Special approval - allows you to perform the activities specified in the special approval, which may be any of the activities normally authorised by a generation, transmission, distribution or retail authority. A special approval is granted when special circumstances apply such that authorisation of the activities by a generation, transmission, distribution or retail authority (with all the obligations placed on holders of those authorities) is not appropriate.

Read more about electricity licences to help you determine whether a transmission authority, distribution authority or special approval is the most appropriate licensing option for your project.

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