Western Australia is a global hotspot for high-penetration of distributed generation in the electricity system, and the Government proactively defined a roadmap for DER integration and orchestration in early 2020.
Western Australian WEM
Energy project modeling in the Western Australian Wholesale Energy Market
South-West Interconnected System
Western Australia’s Wholesale Electricity Market (WEM) supplies electricity to the South-West Interconnected System (SWIS). The SWIS has over 1,000,000 customers consuming around 20 Terrawatt-hours of electricity a hear. The system is notable for having around 400,000 roof-top PV systems, which at times supply up to 60% of system demand.
The WEM market is currently being reformed with the first set of new market rules slated to come into effect in October 2023. These rules will enable new market services, including new Frequency Control Essential System Services (FCESS), and new dispatch and settlement processes, and are aligned with the DER Roadmap, which will enable the integration of even more distributed generation into the SWIS.
The SWIS is a a large isolated transition system, with very high-levels of distributed generation, and a rapidly changing supply mix with the Government recently announcing the closure of the State-owned Coal generation fleet. The power network in SWIS is long and thin, and as a result the system is leading the world in the shift away from traditional power distribution and in adopting stand-alone power systems and microgrids.
There are many existing and emerging value streams for new energy projects in the SWIS. These include participating the Reserve Capacity Mechanism (capacity credits and avoided IRCR costs), providing Essential System Services, responding to the Network Opportunities Map, managing network service costs and generating energy or reducing energy supply costs (through participation in day-ahead or balancing markets, or through traditional retail supply arrangements).