Streamlined Connections Process
The Streamlined Connections Process (SCP) is a workstream of the Connections Reform Initiative (CRI), that focuses on identifying improvement opportunities across the connections process.
The principles of the Program champion:
A portfolio of different ideas to improve the connections process will be tested - tackling real-world opportunities.
A diversity of organisations will be involved, leveraging the energy, enthusiasm, and input of volunteers.
A supportive environment for participants will be provided including bundling proposed ideas, networking, technical assistance, and communication and publications support.
The SCP Delivery Team comprising over 25 organisations across developers, Network Service Providers, Original Equipment Manufacturers and AEMO, conducted an end-to-end review of the connections process and identified streamlining opportunities. These were then further refined, and the group shortlisted 9 initiatives to trial.
Further to this and in January 2023, the CRI ran a Call for Expressions of Interest (CEI) process to invite industry to suggest additional improvements for inclusion in the trial program and nominate live connections projects to participate in an integrated program of trials (Program), developed to test potential improvements to the NEM connections process.
Following EOI submission assessments, stage one of the Trials Program will consist of seven trials sourced from the EOI submissions and direct approaches from industry. A further two trials have been confirmed for stage two (which will commence later in 2023).
These trials will focus on improvements that have originally been identified as part of the SCP, but will also test new ideas that proponents have put forward as part of their EOI. Trial themes currently include opportunities across the pre-application, application, registration, and commissioning phases of the connections process. Each trial will test one or more improvements in different stages of the connections process.
The objectives of the trials for each connection stage:
Pre-application – proposed new stage aiming to improve the quality of the application process to reduce the risk of re-work later and to assist with early procurement.
Application - reducing duplication in assessment scope and finding efficiencies in the Generator Performance Standards assessment process based on technology or location.
Registration – developing an approach to assess and outline the Registration scope of works, leveraging assessments from the application stage, identifying the materiality of changes, and validating the approach to workshopping solutions.
Commissioning – developing an approach to remove duplication in testing scope across similar location and technology projects.
The first round of trials is now underway. The CRI will be running another EOI process later in 2023 and there will be more opportunities for proponents to be involved in further trials in the future.