The Commission is responsible for administering the licensing of the electricity supply industry in the NT under the Electricity Reform Act 2000.
When a licence is required
A licence is required for any of the following operations in the electricity supply industry:
- generation of electricity
- owning or operating an electricity network
- selling electricity
- system control over a power system
- other operations for which a licence is required by the regulations.
Types of licence
Allows the licensee to generate electricity that can then be sold to either a licensed generator or retailer. A licence does not guarantee dispatch, as this is determined by the System Controller. Battery technology is considered generation for the purposes of licensing.
There is also a special generation licence (independent power producer) that allows the licensee to generate electricity to be sold only under contract to a licensed generator. This licence has fewer obligations than a standard generation licence as the purchasing generator takes on this responsibility.
Allows the licensee to trade in electricity, and also sell and retail electricity to customers located within a specified retail area.
Allows the licensee to own or operate an electricity network within a geographic area and connect the network to another electricity network.
Allows the licensee to generate and retail electricity, and also own and operate a network. This licence is intended for systems with no (or unlikely) interaction with another licensed entity.
Allows the licensee to exercise system control over the relevant power system by providing the functions of monitoring and controlling to ensure the system operates reliably, safely and efficiently.
There are several statutory exemptions from the requirement to be licensed under the Electricity Reform (Administration) Regulations of which applicants should be aware, these include certain types of electricity generation, certain sales of electricity, and on-suppliers.
The Commission may, with the approval of the minister, grant an exemption from licensing or specified provisions of licensing. The Commission will consider an exemption as part of the licence application process. Exemptions are limited and only considered where there is significant justification, and are assessed on an individual basis.
An exemption exists for the generation of electricity from a small renewable source (less than 2 megawatts), primarily for own use and subsequent sale of any excess into the distribution network.
Potential participants in the electricity supply industry should seek their own legal advice as to whether an exemption, either statutory or granted by the Commission, may be applicable to their circumstances.
Licence application fees and annual licence fees are fixed from time to time by the minister in accordance with the Electricity Reform Act 2000.