Pilbara Electricity System Regulatory Reform Goes To Cabinet By March 2018

Pilbara Electricity System Regulatory Reform Goes To Cabinet By March 2018

Western Australia Minister for Energy Ben Wyatt

Regulatory Reform To The Pilbara Electricity System

Victor P Taffa

  • Reforms to regulatory arrangements for the Pilbara electricity grid are long overdue
  • Public Utilities Office asked to begin work on the design of these reforms
  • Regulatory reforms will benefit consumers and boost regional development

Pilbara region is a significant driver of the State’s economic and export performance, yet it labours under an electricity system that is fragmented, high-cost and uncompetitive.

“I expect to be in a position to take a detailed reform proposal and implementation plan to Cabinet by March 2018.” Minister for Energy Ben Wyatt said.

“I look forward to engaging with industry and other stakeholders to design and implement an effective regulatory regime for the North West Interconnected System in the Pilbara.”

Third party access to the network has been an issue for some time, with Alinta Energy submitting a coverage application under the Electricity Networks Access Code 2004 in 2014, which was subsequently withdrawn in the hope of a negotiated outcome with Horizon Power.

McGowan Government will address the ongoing uncertainty by designing a fit for purpose regulatory framework and system operator for the Pilbara’s North West Interconnected System.

Objective of this work is to implement a light-handed regulatory regime that facilitates fair and reasonable access by third parties to Horizon Power’s electricity network in the North West Interconnected System.

“I welcome these reforms and look forward to the certainty a regulatory regime will provide for energy producers and consumers in the Pilbara.” Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel said.

“Electricity consumers in this region will be the ultimate beneficiaries from the additional consumer choice that this reform will introduce.”

Public Utilities Office has been asked to begin work on the design of a new regulatory framework and associated arrangements. The intention is to finalise details of the new framework by early 2018.

Engagement with industry and other stakeholders will be crucial in developing a fit for purpose regulatory framework which can deliver better outcomes for electricity consumers in the Pilbara region and help drive further regional development.

Electricity consumers in the region will be the ultimate beneficiaries from this reform, which will lead to greater choice through improved third party access to the network.