Western Australia Minister for Energy Peter Collier
Western Power Makes It Easier For Energy Generators
Victor P Taffa
A map has been developed to help power producers find the best potential locations to build new infrastructure.
Energy Minister Peter Collier said the Generation Connection Capacity Map, prepared by Western Power, would help generators identify potential locations for new small to mid-sized generation assets.
Mr. Collier said this would allow proponents to learn where the network could accommodate extra generators without the need for major and costly upgrades to the grid.
“Connecting to the grid can be complex and expensive for new electricity generators.” the Minister said.
“In addition to the capital cost of building new infrastructure, there can be significant costs associated with upgrading the grid to accommodate such a connection.”
“Western Power is often asked by new generators to suggest cost-effective locations to build assets, such as photovoltaic or solar energy panels; or a small wind farm.”
“In response to this, the corporation carried out a systematic study of the grid’s substations to determine existing spare connection capacity. The result is a new Generation Connection Capacity Map, a first for Western Power.” Mr. Collier said.
The map’s colour coding system allows proponents to see at a glance the areas of the grid that are at capacity and where significant reinforcement costs would be incurred when adding further generation.
It also allows proponents to locate other areas where further generation capacity up to 30 MVA could be accommodated at relatively low cost.
“While the level of information provided comes with a series of important caveats, it allows proponents, such as those from the fledgling solar energy industry, to narrow their focus and concentrate their due diligence processes on issues such as land availability and approvals.” the Minister said.
The Generation Connection Capacity Map is available on Western Power’s website or as part of the Independent Market Operator’s Statement of Opportunities, which is due for release on July 1.