Western Australian has released its Energy Transformation Strategy in response to the rapid uptake of rooftop solar panels and battery storage systems, and increasing levels of large-scale renewable generators.
To maximise the environmental benefits and minimise the costs of this transition, the state government will develop a Whole of System Plan which will detail how the more coordinated power system of the future may look.
The Whole of System Plan will be complemented by a Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Roadmap, which will guide the integration of onsite generation (solar panels), battery storage and future technologies such as electric vehicles.
The DER Roadmap will be produced by the end of 2019 and the first Whole of System Plan in mid-2020.
WA Minister for Energy, Bill Johnston, said, “Technological change in the energy sector is happening at a rapid pace worldwide.
“In Western Australia, we’re blessed with world-class solar and wind resources, abundant gas supply, a wealth of battery metals, and a highly skilled workforce.
“We have a genuine opportunity to lead the way in establishing a cleaner, brighter and more resilient energy supply for decades to come.
“It’s clear that the generation mix will continue to change, so it’s important we have a whole of system approach to plan for the future.”
These initiatives will be developed alongside changes to modernise the Wholesale Electricity Market to enhance power system security and improvements to enable new, largely renewable generators to access Western Power’s network.
Energy Networks Australia CEO Andrew Dillon welcomed the plan, saying it is a positive step forward.
“The power prices consumers pay are linked to the total system cost, so it makes sense to consider how the coordinated end-to-end power system of the future should look,” Mr Dillon said.
“It’s a positive step that a government is thinking beyond short-term rebates and starting to plan for how we manage an integrated low emissions electricity system.”