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Networks look west for innovation

Western Power has been recognised as a leader in electricity network innovation, by doing more than just talking about innovations that benefit customers.

Deloitte’s Innovation in Electricity Networks report assesses the state of innovation within Australian electricity networks based on a survey of 17 electricity network businesses.

Featured in the Australian Financial Review, the report places Western Power as one of three businesses with a strong innovation culture to match ambition and execution capability.

Western Power CEO Guy Chalkley said the recognition amongst industry peers was a fantastic reflection of the experience and skills within the company, plus the commitment to delivering innovative solutions for its community.

“We’re committed to maximising and enhancing the value of our existing network, but we’re actively looking for innovation solutions to improve reliability for our customers.

The Deloitte report stated, “… it is important they (innovators) do not simply count ideas and efforts, but measure actual outcomes and results.”

Deloitte noted “that businesses clearly recognise that the focus of innovation needs to shift significantly toward new business configurations and the experience provided to consumers”.

In September, Western Power released a report into its stand–alone power systems pilot, which was recognised under the product performance category.

“The stand-alone power systems are in a farming community with below average reliability, we’re also piloting a large-scale microgrid in an edge-of-grid eco-tourist town, and a battery storage system in a remote town that suffers above average outages,” said Mr Chalkley.

Earlier this year Western Power created a change and innovation business unit, with an executive manager on its leadership team.

“As an organisation, we’re working now to be more prepared for higher levels of PV and batteries on customer premises, as well as technologies such as ‘peer-to-peer’ trading,” Mr Chalkley said.

“We’re strengthening our focus on change and innovation at Western Power. We’re being bold and having a go, to more efficiently deliver safe and reliable power to our customers, while removing barriers to connecting new energy solution to our network.”

The report noted that while all electricity networks have big ambitions for innovation in their businesses Western Power was leading the pack on making those ambitions a reality for customers.




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