We’ve been on the hunt for the answers to this question for months, and now we know.
We asked PowerLink, the company that runs the national grid, what exactly the state grid is and what its functions are.
Here are their answers.
PowerLink says that the grid is divided into two parts: the state electrical network (SEAN) and the regional electrical network.SEAN is comprised of six main grids, each with different regions.
Each of the grids has its own power distribution system.
SEAN is divided up into five regions (or states): Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.
This map shows how the regional electric grid worksPowerLink is keen to emphasise that the state power distribution network is separate from the national power network, and not just a means to provide electricity to regional regions.
“The national power system is a regional network and so we do not rely on SEAN as part of our network,” said PowerLink.
“It provides electricity for regional regions, and the national electricity system is part of that network.”
The two systems are separated by the state border, which is a physical boundary separating the state from other states.
“There is no interconnection between SEAN and the National Electricity System,” said Mr Dolan.
“PowerLink does not connect to the National Energy System.
There is no power distribution link.”
However, this does not mean PowerLink is immune from regional and state politics.
For instance, while PowerLink’s power distribution is done through the Northern Territory Electricity Agency (NTEA), the NT Electricity Board (NEB) has an interest in the grid as a whole, because the NT Government is the main purchaser of electricity.
The NT Government has a power purchase agreement with PowerLink that ensures that PowerLink has access to all of the NT’s power, as well as NT’s electricity infrastructure, including the NT Interconnector (NTIE).
“The NTIE provides an essential link to the regional power network,” PowerLink said.
“Through the NTIE, power is delivered across the NT from regional power stations to NT customers.”
While the NT Energy Minister has a contract with Powerlink, he is not bound by that agreement, meaning PowerLink will be able to access NT electricity even if it doesn’t have a contract.
“If the NT is not getting the electricity, we can make a request to the NTEE to bring that electricity to NT customer’s homes,” said Dolan.
“This is an important feature of our relationship with NTCE.”
PowerLink said the NT EE also has a similar agreement with its main customer, the NT Power Network.”NTCE and PowerLink have a long-term power purchase arrangement, whereby NTCE supplies NT electricity and NT Power has a long term contract to supply electricity to other customers,” said a PowerLink spokesperson.
“This long-standing relationship ensures that NTCE can be supplied with all of NT’s energy needs, including power from PowerLink.”
The NT Energy Board’s executive director, Craig Roberts, said Powerlink is doing the right thing by taking part in the regional grid, and has provided an incentive for NT customers to sign up.
“They are getting the grid, they are not buying power from a power company, and that’s the way it should be,” he said.
“There is a good reason why they are doing that.
They want to make sure they have the right power, and NT’s demand is growing.”
People will get a fair deal.
They are making the right decision.
“In a press release, PowerLink says the regional network is a way to improve regional reliability and reliability across the country.”
Regional networks are vital to providing electricity to our customers in remote areas,” said the PowerLink press release.”
We work closely with regional customers to provide reliable, reliable, low-carbon electricity for their community and our own customers.
We believe this system is an excellent way to deliver more reliable and low-cost electricity to the region.
“The regional network includes a number of different companies.
PowerLink and NT Energy’s main customer are the NT Energex and NT Energies, which provide the bulk of regional electricity, and a number more smaller utilities.
The National Grid has the majority of regional power, but NT Power is also an important customer for the regional energy grid.