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Eastland Network applies for EIRA exemption

Eastland Network applies for EIRA exemption

The Commerce Commission has received an application from the Eastland Network Limited for an exemption under the Electricity Industry Reform (EIR) Act 1998.

Eastland Network is an electricity lines business that owns generation asset within the provisions of the EIR Act with regard to involvement in an electricity supply business. It also owns standby mobile diesel generator sets for security and outage management purposes.

Eastland Network wishes to develop new generation capability in a peaking role to avoid more costly transmission and distribution asset upgrade. In addition, Eastland wishes to charge electricity retailers for the electricity resulting from the operation of its existing and proposed generation capacity.

Exemption is sought in respect of the generating capacity permitted to be owned and operated by Eastland Network, and permission sought to sell the generated electricity to electricity retailers.

The purpose of the EIR Act is to reform the electricity industry to better ensure that costs and prices in the electricity industry are subject to sustained downward pressure and the benefits of efficient electricity pricing flow through to all classes of consumers, by effectively separating electricity distribution from generation and retail and promoting effective competition in electricity generation and retail markets.

The Commission may grant an exemption in respect of a business or involvement or interest, only where doing so: would not result in certain involvements in electricity lines businesses and electricity supply businesses which may create incentives or opportunities: to inhibit competition in the electricity industry; or to cross-subsidise generation activities from electricity lines businesses; and would not result in relationships between electricity lines businesses and electricity supply businesses which are not at arms length.

For further information on the Commission’s role within the EIR Act, visit the Commission’s website, http://www.comcom.govt.nz/acts/eiract/.

A public version of the application can be downloaded from http://www.comcom.govt.nz/adjudication/s81.cfm.

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