Pilbara electricity network granted regulatory coverage

The Western Australian Government has announced its decision under the Electricity Networks Access Code 2004 to grant regulatory coverage of Horizon Power’s electricity network in the Pilbara.

WA Energy Minister Ben Wyatt said the decision was made in response to an application by Alinta Energy on August 4 last year and follows two rounds of public consultation.

The coverage decision means that Horizon Power’s Pilbara network will be regulated by the Economic Regulation Authority, in the same manner as Western Power’s network in the south west.

“The coverage decision has been made consistent with the requirements of the Electricity Networks Access Code 2004,” Mr Wyatt said.

“There are a range of consequential policy considerations that arise as a result of this decision, which the government will methodically work to address prior to the coverage commencement date.”

Horizon Power will be obliged to facilitate third party access to its Pilbara network, which will enable electricity retailers to enter the Pilbara electricity market and make it easier for generators to connect to the grid.

To ensure Horizon Power is afforded sufficient time to be able to comply with its new regulatory obligations, coverage will commence on January 1, 2020.

As announced by the minister on August 9 last year, work continues on the development of a light-handed access regime and system operator model, with a report due to state cabinet in March 2018.