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Western Power to share innovation strides with East Coast

Western Power Managing Director, Guy Chalkley, was in Melbourne today as an invited guest of the All Energy Conference 2019, to share learnings on world-first innovations being pioneered in Western Australia.

Over the last three years, we have become increasingly recognised for not only being a company that is planning to meet the rapidly changing needs of customers but already is, through innovation, planning and applying modern technology.

Mr Chalkley said in the last decade network operators have been challenged by customers, businesses and inventors who are not looking at the grid as not just a connection point, but a portal to unlock new ways of using energy to suit their lifestyles. 

“This is a challenging and exciting time for network operators. The customer really has become the king or queen of their connection and are saying that they want more control of when, where and how they use their power,” Mr Chalkley said.

“Understanding how future pressures of customer choices like electric vehicles, peer-to-peer trading and virtual power plants will affect the network means that ‘staying ahead of the curve’ is not an option, but a business focus for us,” he said.

“While there is no silver bullet to meet everyone’s needs there are now several solutions that have emerged from existing, and increasingly new, partners utilising both data and new technology.”

Western Power and other west coast-based utilities have been recognised by independent research group Deloitte as not only talking the talk but also walking the walk for their roll out of stand-alone power systems, community battery programs and renewable energy microgrids.

Finding solutions is paramount for us in a rapidly changing landscape ranging from large renewable generators connecting to the grid, to an extremely high number of homes with rooftop solar panels.

To meet this evolving challenge means working with the wider energy community to find solutions that aren’t always as high profile as big batteries or solar panels but ultimately provide smoother roads to travel in the future.

“Collaboration and knowledge sharing in the areas of policy and industry reform has never been more critical than it is now, especially with the pace of change only accelerating. When everyone sits at the table then change can happen but if you want to work in silos then bringing people on the journey becomes difficult,” Mr Chalkley added.

Mr Chalkley will be delivering insights during the All Energy Conference, Plenary Panel discussion, “A look at how the shift in energy supply will affect the design of the future grid “ and will be available for interviews before and after the panel.

Panel members are: 

  • Guy Chalkley, Managing Director, Western Power
  • Audrey Ziebelman, CEO, AEMO
  • Anthea Harris, Deputy Secretary-Energy, DELWP, Victorian Government
  • Lior Handelsman, Founder, SolarEdge
  • Rob Murray-Leach, Head of Policy, Energy Efficiency Council
  • Sara Bell, CEO, Tempus Energy
  • Ivor Frischknechtvor
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