The Western Australian Government has announced major reforms to the wholesale electricity market in the south-west of the state which aim to address market inefficiencies and ensure ongoing energy security.

The Western Australian Government expects the reforms to deliver savings of up to $370 million.

Western Australian Energy Minister Mike Nahan said the reforms would provide greater accountability and more flexibility for power station owners and electricity retailers in buying and selling energy, ensuring electricity was produced and delivered at the lowest possible cost.

“These reforms will allow for the efficient, transparent and lowest cost use of power stations, while maintaining the security and reliability of the electricity system,” Dr Nahan said.

The new reforms will come into effect on 1 July 2018 with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) using sophisticated systems to administer the wholesale electricity market and operate the electricity system.

These systems will provide instructions to generators supplying electricity and the energy services, enhancing the safe, secure and reliable delivery of electricity services.

Dr Nahan said the reforms would also allow the AEMO to draw on computer systems and expertise developed in the National Electricity Market, with modifications to suit the particular circumstances and requirements of the state.

“This will align operation of the Western Australian wholesale electricity market with best practice in competitive electricity markets, while also reducing implementation costs for the reforms,” Dr Nahan said.

“These important reforms form part of the State Government’s Electricity Market Review, which seeks to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the electricity market with the aim of keeping electricity prices as low as possible.” 

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