Morawa and Perenjori FAQs
What is the Community Energy Engagement Project?The Community Energy Engagement Project is a series of community forums and workshops developed by Western Power in partnership with the Morawa and Perenjori communities.
What are the main objectives?
The objective of the Community Energy Engagement Project in Morawa and Perenjori is to empower community members to actively participate in the decision making process which will result in an improvement of reliability in both towns. This will be done through the creation of a working group in each community, on-going engagement and the facilitation of workshops which examine potential solutions.
Why was project introduced in Morawa and Perenjori?
As Edge of Grid communities Morawa and Perenjori face greater reliability issues than metropolitan areas. Aging infrastructure, coupled with increased peak demand is now putting unprecedented pressure on the network. As an energy solutions business for a sustainable future, Western Power is looking to develop alternative (non-pole and wires) solutions. The project aims to involve the community in any decision making process that occurs when trying to improve reliability in the towns.
So it means Western Power doesn’t have to replace old infrastructure?Any initiatives put in place as part of the Community Energy Engagement Project will not replace Western Power’s commitment to build and maintain the electricity network.
However, we believe that to continue to meet customer demand by relying solely on building more and more poles and wires is short sighted. We’re instead looking at other solutions that, if successful, could be deferring significant infrastructure for a number of years.
How do the community participate in the project?The community is invited to the first of many Community Forums in both Morawa and Perenjori. The first Community Forum aims to create a working group of community stakeholders who will meet every 8 to 10 weeks, and is influential in providing feedback on recommendations and evaluating the success of completed initiatives.
All decisions being considered by Western Power will have involved community consultation and feedback as well as providing the community with an opportunity to suggest potential solutions to reliability issues.
Who can be involved in the community working group?The community working group can consist of a number of key representatives of the local community groups. Any community member in both Morawa and Perenjori is invited to attend and participate in the working group.
So Western Power leads the working group?No, Western Power will initially bring the working group together but is an equal member of the group and participates at that level. The group will be run and led by the community with Western Power being a conduit for all community groups.
What is an Edge of Grid community?An Edge of Grid community sits on the edge of the South West Interconnected System.
What are the power challenges faced by an Edge of Grid community compared to those of a metro community?Edge of Grid communities are fed by long rural feeders from substations up to 200 km away, whereas metropolitan communities are fed from substations that are, at most, 50 km away. Long rural feeders are more susceptible to damage from weather, animals, cars etc. Also, the quality of the power is reduced the further it has to travel.
What are the benefits of the Community Energy Engagement Project?Initiatives developed as part of the project will improve reliability for the Morawa and Perenjori area. The project will also create a structured relationship between the communities and Western Power which enables open, honest communication between the two to occur.
What has contributed to the success of other similar projects?Similar projects have been conducted in both Ravensthorpe and Denmark and Walpole. The Denmark and Walpole community have been heavily involved in the working group and have owned the outcomes such as peak reduction and the proposal for a community wind farm.
Ravensthorpe community members were able to participate in a community data collection initiative in order to address their power issues accurately. The community have also fed into the solution for their reliability, capacity and power quality issues and are currently experiencing the best power in 20 years.
What is Western Power’s engagement style in this project?Western Power’s engagement style is open, honest and transparent. Western Power recognises that a good relationship with the community is vital to the success of such a community project.
It is acknowledged that local resources and networks provide invaluable insights and information, and that there is no substitute for open and honest, face-to-face engagement with the community, which is an important part of being sustainable.