$708 million in funding allocated to Western Power to facilitate future renewable energy generation
1 December 2023
Western power has issued the following update:
- The State Government has announced $708 million in funding for Western Power to enhance the existing transmission network of the South West Interconnected System for future renewable generation.
- The new State Government funding to Western Power will see:
o $575M to enhance existing transmission network on the SWIS.
o $133M for scoping and planning for new transmission build outside the existing network footprint (early works and purchasing long lead items in the north, east, south, and central Kwinana area)
Strengthening the northern region of the existing network
- Preparing the northern network is a vital step in hitting the State’s target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and building a cleaner, reliable, decarbonised energy future for our community, while maintaining system security
- The majority of the investment ($575M) will enable Western Power to strengthen and build on the existing network to unlock new generation capacity in the Mid-West and Wheatbelt regions.
- The funding has been earmarked for:
o A new 330 kilovolt double circuit transmission line between Northern Terminal (in Malaga) and Neerabup Terminal (in Pinjar).
o Separating the existing 132kV line and reinforcing existing infrastructure in the northern suburbs.
o Converting the existing 132kv transmission line from Northern Terminal to Three Springs Terminal to 330kv.
- It enables a greater amount of renewable generation to be connected for the community and industry, pulling green electrons from the wind and solar in the Mid West onto our electricity network.
- Through this work we will see the connection of more than 1GW of renewable energy.
- The benefits to WA are great – it will help will create jobs and stimulate economic growth in our regional communities.
- Importantly it has the potential to reduce emissions by around 2.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum as we move towards net-zero – with cleaner energy generated and used from existing wind farms in the region.
- It will pave the way for several renewable generation projects currently in the pipeline to progress.
- As the first major investment in WA’s transmission infrastructure in decades, this will set the way on how we increase the power flow to our communities and industry.
Scoping and planning for new transmission build outside the existing network footprint
- Along with investment to commence the strengthening of the northern part of the network, the WA Government is supporting Western Power to commence further planning.
- $133 million of funding will go towards scoping, early works and purchasing long lead items in the north, east, south, and central Kwinana area.
- Some of Western Australia’s best solar and wind resources are located outside the reach of the existing footprint of the SWIS; and there is potential to establish renewable generation hubs outside this for the benefit of the wider community.
- To enable the energy transformation, significant network augmentation will be required to enable the additional load from renewables to connect to the network.
- Renewable generators such as solar and wind farms offer greener alternatives but, the intermittent nature of this type of generation means we need more of them to deliver reliable power supply to customers – hence the need for transmission expansion.
- Modelling shows that a 10-fold increase in renewable generation will be required to meet future clean energy demand.
- Our transmission network is likely to double in size and it could be even higher as new technologies gain traction, such as green hydrogen that will support the global energy transition.
- Community consultation during this planning phase is key and Western Power are committed to ensuring collaboration and transparency as we move forward on the State’s and the global community’s needs to reduce emissions.
- Transmission build towards decarbonisation sits alongside the essential work Western Power is undertaking in transforming the network.
- Planning is in progress and we will provide updates as more information becomes available, detailed information is available on the Western Power website.