Albany wind farm at sunset, Western Australia

The Western Australian Government will undergo an ‘urgent’ review of new and existing renewable energy demands for the state’s primary network, the South West Interconnected System.

The process will help the state understand future demand for low-emissions electricity supply on the SWIS, as a growing number of industries and businesses seek to decarbonise through electrification.

An interim assessment will be undertaken ahead of the next Whole of System Plan, which is required by 2025.

The SWIS Demand Assessment will gather information from industry about the size, location and timeframe of anticipated electricity demand to 2030 and beyond.

The Treasury-led taskforce membership will include the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Energy Policy WA, the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, and Western Power.

The information collected will also be used to inform the electricity Sectoral Emissions Reduction Strategies through a coordinated stakeholder engagement process.

Western Australian Premier and Treasurer, Mark McGowan, said the assessment would ensure stability in the SWIS and accommodate future energy transitions.

“This assessment of renewable energy demand will be an essential tool in achieving a smooth and orderly transition towards net zero by 2050,” Mr McGowan said.

“As the world decarbonises, it’s important we give local businesses the certainty and stability they need in order to support WA jobs.

“It’s important we act now to achieve an orderly transition in our electricity network to avoid the kind of situations seen elsewhere in the nation.”

State Energy Minister, Bill Johnston, said the network formed the ‘backbone’ of Western Australia’s net-zero targets.

“The McGowan Government has already committed to the closure of state-owned coal power stations by 2030, and an investment of $3.8 billion in wind generation and storage,” Mr Johnston said.

“It is expected more investments will be made into renewable energy from across the whole economy in years to come.

“Western Power’s network will be the backbone that supports decarbonisation in the south-west of Western Australia, helping connect industry to renewable energy sources.

“Industry has told us they need to decarbonise quickly and I’m pleased to explore how the network could support their ambition through the expedited SWIS Demand Assessment.”

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