Western Australia Minister for Energy Ben Wyatt
Minister Announces Regulatory Coverage Of Pilbara Electricity Network
Victor P Taffa
- Regulatory changes will facilitate third party access to Horizon Power’s Pilbara network
- Horizon Power’s Pilbara electricity network stretches from Karratha to Port Hedland, serving about 16,000 customers
- Government will address a range of policy issues prior to the commencement date
Energy Minister Ben Wyatt has made a decision under the Electricity Networks Access Code 2004 to grant regulatory coverage of Horizon Power’s electricity network in the Pilbara.
“Coverage decision has been made consistent with the requirements of the Electricity Networks Access Code 2004.” Minister for Energy Ben Wyatt said.
“There are a range of consequential policy considerations that arise as a result of this decision, which the Government will methodically work to address prior to the coverage commencement date.”
This decision was made in response to an application by Alinta Energy on August 4, 2017, and follows two rounds of public consultation.
Coverage decision means that Horizon Power’s Pilbara network will be regulated by the Economic Regulation Authority, in the same manner as Western Power’s network in the South-West.
Horizon Power will be obliged to facilitate third party access to its Pilbara network, which will enable electricity retailers to enter the Pilbara electricity market and make it easier for generators to connect to the grid.
To ensure that Horizon Power is afforded sufficient time to be able to comply with its new regulatory obligations, coverage will commence on January 1, 2020.
As announced by the Minister on August 9, 2017, work continues on the development of a light handed access regime and system operator model, with a report due to State Cabinet in March 2018.