New competition in energy trading is benefiting Western Australian consumers and the entire energy industry, according to a new report released today.
Energy Minister Francis Logan said the Annual Wholesale Electricity Market Report, compiled by the Economic Regulation Authority, represented another significant milestone in the State Government’s successful electricity reform program.
“The Wholesale Electricity Market is providing an efficient mechanism for energy industry participants to trade electricity within the South West Interconnected System,” Mr Logan said.
“I am pleased to note that the report indicates that the energy market has been performing effectively since it began on September 21, 2006.
“The successful operation of the Wholesale Electricity Market, together with other reform measures like the disaggregation of Western Power Corporation, is bringing tangible benefits in increasing the competitiveness of the electricity industry in this State.”
The Minister said the report highlighted that a number of new participants had entered the market since 2006. This had led to the construction of several new power stations and plans for many more. These include:
· Pinjarra Units 1 and 2: Two 140MW gas-fired cogeneration plants, originally owned by Alinta but recently acquired by Babcock & Brown;
· Emu Downs Wind Farm: Forty-eight wind turbines providing 80MW capacity, owned by a joint venture of Stanwell and Griffin Energy;
· Wagerup: Two 175MW gas-fired turbines, originally owned by Alinta but recently acquired by Babcock & Brown;
· Bluewaters 1 and 2: Two 200MW coal-fired power stations in Collie, owned by Griffin Energy. Bluewaters 1 is scheduled to begin operations this year, with Bluewaters 2 in 2009;
· Kwinana (NewGen): A 320MW gas-fired plant owned by NewGen, a joint venture between ERM Power and Babcock & Brown;
· Western Australian Biomass: A 40MW boiler/steam turbine power station to be fired by biomass. Due to begin operations in 2009-10;
· Centauri 1: A 168MW gas-fired plant near Eneabba, being developed by Eneabba Gas Limited and due to begin operation next year;
· Kwinana Combined Cycle Power Plant: A 80MW gas-fired plant being developed by Western Energy for 2010;
· North Peak Power Station: A 330MW gas-fired plant near Neerabup, being proposed by Griffin Energy for 2010-11; and
· Coolimba Power Station: A 400MW coal-fired plant near Eneabba, being developed by Aviva Corporation for 2012.
“This mix of renewable, gas, and coal plant represents good diversity, providing for continued security of ongoing fuel supplies,” Mr Logan said.
“This increased market participation by new generation facilities is also bringing environmental benefits, through generation plants with low or zero greenhouse gas emissions generation,” he said.
The Minister said these results were testimony to the hard work put into the design of the Wholesale Electricity Market and the Market Rules, which were carefully developed by the State Government and the electricity industry.
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