South West Interconnected System transformation
Western Australia’s main electricity network, the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), serves most of the state’s population, with more than 1.1 million customers.
The SWIS is geographically and electrically isolated, with no interconnections to other transmission systems. It was planned and developed around centralised, large-scale, dispatchable generation.
Major investment in network infrastructure and ﬁrming capacity is now required to meet the challenges (and opportunities) associated with integrating signiﬁcant levels of utility-scale renewables and distributed energy resources. The Australian Energy Market Operator has warned that, without planning for and responding to these challenges, the SWIS will be at risk of experiencing widespread outages within the next ﬁve years.
The proposal involves network, generation and storage investment in the SWIS, including:
- implementing energy storage and other energy-generating technologies to maintain system security
- replacing end-of-life network infrastructure in areas with low customer density
- investing in transmission infrastructure to link generation in renewable energy zones to existing demands, and support new demands and security of supply at the fringes of the grid.
Proponent to develop potential investment options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).