Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Regulated and merchant interconnectors in Australia: SNI and Murraylink revisited

By Stephen C. Littlechild


This paper examines the history of the various actual and proposed interconnectors between New South Wales and Victoria into South Australia. It covers the period from the earliest proposal for a regulated interconnector to the recent Victoria Supreme Court review and the latest ministerial proposals. It finds, inter alia, that the Supreme Court decision is likely to have strengthened, in a beneficial way, the regulatory regime for dealing with merchant interconnectors and the obligations on incumbent transmission companies. It finds that none of the proposals for regulated interconnectors did or would have passed the regulatory tests as formulated in terms of aggregate benefits to all market participants. It finds that neither of the merchant interconnectors (into South Australia and Queensland) are likely to have been profitable. It sees a possible explanation for the construction of regulated interconnectors in terms of the benefits to customers, or in terms of bringing about a single competitive market. Above all, it illustrates the political context in which decisions on interconnectors have been made, and the need to take account of such motivations when comparing the likely effects of regulated interconnectors versus merchant interconnector

Topics: Classification-JEL: L94, L51, Q48, merchant investment, interconnectors, electricity, regulation, transmission
Publisher: Faculty of Economics
Year: 2004
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Apollo

Suggested articles


  1. (1946). Directlink could have done so in the absence of QNI is unclear, but doubtful. 51 Coase, Ronald H
  2. (2003). Electricity Deregulation: Where to From Here?”, paper presented to conference at
  3. (2003). Entrepreneurial Interconnectors and Transmission Planning in Australia”, The Electricity Journal, doi
  4. (2003). Merchant Transmission Investment”, doi
  5. (1988). The Firm, the Market and the Law, London and Chicago:
  6. (2003). Transmission regulation, merchant investment, and the experience of SNI
  7. (2003). Warring Tribes, The Story of Power Development in Australia (Revised Edition), Bardak Group,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.