The national electricity industry regulator has strongly criticised plans by a NSW government-owned electricity company to upgrade the network in the state's north east, even following a decision to defer the upgrade.
The NSW high voltage transmission network owner Transgrid had planned to upgrade a link between Stroud and Lansdowne, near Taree on the mid-north coast, by building a 330,000 volt link to meet forecast demand growth.
Following criticism from affected households, Transgrid cut the planned upgrade to a 132,000 voltage link and deferred the proposed timing to the early part of next decade.
In a detailed criticism published earlier today, the Australian Energy Regulator, an arm of the consumer watchdog the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission, said Transgrid had failed to meet as many as seven necessary prerequisites when putting forward network upgrades, such as releasing the detailed reasons justifying the planned upgrade and detailing the likely constraints requiring the upgrade.
"TransGrid has acknowledged that more detail could have been provided for the project as part of its regulatory test but considers it did not breach the Electricity Rules," the AER said.
"TransGrid has agreed to undertake" a further detailed evaluation of the project before it is put forward in the future."