Eric Ripper

Eric Ripper

Deputy Premier; Treasurer; Minister for State Development

    Major step forward in long-term power generation plan

    5/01/2005 5:30 PM

    The State Government’s plan to secure power supplies over the next decade has taken a major step forward after 14 companies expressed interest in providing extra power capacity in 2007.

    Energy Minister Eric Ripper said the interest was a sign that the Government’s plan - to encourage private power generators into the electricity market to compete with Western Power - was working.

    Mr Ripper said security of supply came through diversity in power generation.

    The Minister said the Government had sought expressions of interest from power generators in October 2004 to supply up to 420MW in 2007 - and had received 2,742MW in offers.

    “There has been an overwhelming response from companies offering a wide range of options - including renewable energy, gas, coal and other fuels - to meet the State’s future needs,” Mr Ripper said.

    The proposals would now be part of a capacity ‘auction’ to be held in October this year.

    The extra power generation for 2007 forms part of a long-term plan by the Government to meet the State’s future energy needs.

    This summer, Western Power has put in place its ‘Summer Ready’ program to bolster power supplies including:
    • overhauling the Kwinana and Muja power stations to extend their operating life, improve reliability and increase their output;
    • new liquid fuel capabilities at Kwinana and Pinjar power stations;
    • upgrading the Pinjar gas turbines to increase output;
    • securing additional power supplies from the privately owned Parkeston power station;
    • greater fuel security through a back-up agreement for supplies of gas from the Wesfarmers LPG plant at Kwinana;
    • installing temporary back-up generators at Pinjar; and
    • introducing demand management initiatives with major customers to reduce their power use at times of peak demand.
    A new Western Power commissioned ‘peaking’ power station is to be in service at Kemerton later this year, as well as the new Alinta co-generation plant at Pinjarra. Western Australia’s largest wind farm, at Walkaway, will also come on stream in 2005.

    The Government has given the go-ahead for another 120MW planned dual fuel peaking plant planned for the summer of 2006-07, and Alinta has announced a second co-generation plant at Pinjarra, feeding into the State’s electricity grid from 2006. A second privately owned wind farm, Emu Downs, is expected to be operational in mid 2006.

    Tender processes are also well advanced for a new base-load power station to be operational by late 2008.

    Mr Ripper said as part of the Government’s electricity market reforms, a powerful new Government owned body - the Independent Market Operator - would have responsibility for overseeing the operations of the competitive market and procuring more capacity if needed.

    "The IMO, which was established on January 1, will publish a statement of opportunities in July, based on the latest available information, to determine the details of the capacity to be auctioned,” he said.

    “The IMO will effectively pay power producers for the extra electricity capacity needed.

    “After the initial auction this year, the IMO will periodically conduct further capacity auctions as required.”

    Mr Ripper said the Government’s reform program aimed to achieve a secure, reliable and efficient supply of electricity to businesses and households in the State, with greater choice and competition.

    Major new generation capacity

    2003Cockburn 1 power station (Govt)240MW
    2004Summer Ready program260MW**
    2005Alinta 1 co-generation plant (Private)140MW
    Walkaway wind farm (Private)90MW
    Kemerton peaking plant*320MW
    2006Emu Downs wind farm*40MW
    Gas-fired peaking station (Govt)120MW
    Alinta 2 co-generation plant (Private)140MW
    2007Additional capacity*420MW
    2008Baseload power station*300MW

    * Government commissioned or assisted
    ** Includes demand management initiatives

    Minister's office: 9222 8788