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Western Power green lights 900MW of new green energy

Western Power has opened the South West Interconnected Network to around 900MW of new renewable energy projects through our final Generator Interim Access (GIA) offers being made this week.

The GIA solution was created in consultation with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the Public Utilities Office, to help progress connections to the grid that would have been unviable under the current unconstrained network access arrangement.

Western Power Chief Executive Officer Guy Chalkley said that the GIA will address a significant hurdle to new generation projects wanting to connect to the grid and potentially add around 20% extra generation to the existing mix of generators already connected to the grid.

“Within the last five years, we haven’t connected many large‐scale generators to the grid, mainly due to the high cost of augmentation required for new generators to achieve an unconstrained network connection,” Mr Chalkley said.

“Now with the GIA, we have businesses being offered connection solutions that enable them to invest in the state energy market, with a number of those projects being 100MW-plus generators.

“Ultimately the move to a constrained access market by the State Government in 2022 will not only assist with the deployment of more low-cost renewable energy but will minimise unnecessary additional costs to market participants.”

A total of eight connection offers have been made to generators who will operate under constrained conditions, meaning their ‘normal’ access to the network may be reduced by AEMO when another generator is competing for the network.

At the core of the GIA are computer systems that will monitor outputs of the GIA cohort and limit their outputs to ensure the safe operating limits of the network are not exceeded.

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