• Electricity networks and energy users

    Project developers must be able to sell their electricity to energy users. To do this, they need to:

    • connect to an electricity network, or
    • supply electricity directly to a user, such as a mine site.

    Electricity network information

    Locations near electricity network lines and spare network capacity will be the most economical.

    If a project is set-up too far from electricity lines, you would need to transport electricity over long distances. This may mean building new lines, adding significant costs to a project.

    If a project is set-up in an area where the electricity network is nearing full capacity, then there could be substantial upgrade costs to allow the new generator to connect.

    Western Power is responsible for Western Australia’s largest electricity network, the South West Interconnected System (SWIS). Western Power provides the following maps and data which help assess project locations.

    • Generation connection capacity map [external website] – overview of spare connection capacity on the existing electricity network in the Perth metropolitan area. This shows where new projects could be added relatively cheaply.
    • Network projects map [external website] – information on current electricity network expansion or upgrade projects in different regions of the SWIS.
    • Network Capacity Mapping Tool  [external website] – detailed interactive information on spare connection capacity for generators, locations of lines and power substations (current and proposed), and annual forecast remaining capacity for users over the next 20 years.
    • Shared Land Information Platform (SLIP) [external website] – a detailed database from Landgate (WA’s primary government source of land information and geographic data), which hosts Western Power’s data.

    Mining and renewable energy

    Mining operations are large and growing consumers of electricity. Many mines are not connected to a major electricity network. These mines often use either expensive gas- or diesel-powered generation, and mining companies can be interested in renewable energy alternatives.

    •  GeoView.WA [external website] – a detailed database and maps from WA’s Department of Mines and Petroleum, containing mine site locations and other mineral and geological information.