Regulatory reform to the Pilbara electricity system
The Pilbara region is a significant driver of the State’s economic and export performance, yet it labours under an electricity system that is fragmented, high-cost and uncompetitive.
Third party access to the network has been an issue for some time, with Alinta Energy submitting a coverage application under the Electricity Networks Access Code 2004 in 2014, which was subsequently withdrawn in the hope of a negotiated outcome with Horizon Power.
The McGowan Government will address the ongoing uncertainty by designing a fit for purpose regulatory framework and system operator for the Pilbara’s North West Interconnected System.
The objective of this work is to implement a light-handed regulatory regime that facilitates fair and reasonable access by third parties to Horizon Power’s electricity network in the North West Interconnected System.
The Public Utilities Office has been asked to begin work on the design of a new regulatory framework and associated arrangements. The intention is to finalise details of the new framework by early 2018.
Engagement with industry and other stakeholders will be crucial in developing a fit for purpose regulatory framework which can deliver better outcomes for electricity consumers in the Pilbara region and help drive further regional development.
Electricity consumers in the region will be the ultimate beneficiaries from this reform, which will lead to greater choice through improved third party access to the network.