Western Australia has announced a bold commitment to invest $708 million in new transmission projects, marking its largest grid investment in over a decade. The move aims to lay the groundwork for a planned tenfold increase in wind and solar capacity in the state. The announcement was made during a local summit, where various initiatives were confirmed, including funding for a green hydrogen project and a solar for renters program, as well as streamlining environmental approvals for new projects.
Premier Roger Cook emphasized that the transmission spending, which primarily focuses on the wind and solar-rich but transmission-poor “mid-west” region north of Perth, is a crucial step towards Western Australia becoming a renewable energy powerhouse. The state has undergone a significant shift in its approach to the electricity grid, driven by the mining and industry sectors’ demand for more affordable and clean power.
According to a recent demand forecast, the state envisions up to 50 GW of new wind and solar capacity over the next two decades. This additional capacity will support the electrification of homes and businesses, the adoption of electric vehicles, and the promotion of zero-emissions power in energy-intensive industries. Strengthening the northern transmission network is seen as critical to meet the anticipated surge in renewable generation.
Approximately $575 million will be allocated to enhancing the capacity of the network’s northern section, which will enable large renewable energy projects in the Mid West to connect to the grid. An additional $133 million will be invested in planning new lines, reinforcements, and upgrades around key industrial areas, such as Kwinana and Collie. Upgrades between Geraldton and Perth will also support the development of Oakajee, a proposed green energy hub.
To closely manage the delivery of new electricity infrastructure for decarbonization, the state government plans to establish PoweringWA. Housed within the Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation, and Safety, this new entity will coordinate transmission, renewable energy, and storage infrastructure projects. Western Australia recognizes that an efficient and modern transmission system is vital for a successful energy transition and achieving its renewable energy potential.
Q: What is the Western Australian government’s commitment regarding transmission projects?
A: The Western Australian government will invest $708 million in new transmission projects to drive the expansion of renewable energy capacity in the state.
Q: What region will be the primary focus of the transmission spending?
A: The investment will mainly focus on the wind and solar-rich “mid-west” region north of Perth.
Q: What is the expected wind and solar capacity increase projected over the next two decades?
A: Western Australia anticipates up to 50 GW of new wind and solar capacity to be added in the next two decades.
Q: What entity will coordinate the delivery of new electricity infrastructure in Western Australia?
A: A new entity called PoweringWA will be established within the Department of Energy, Mines, Industry Regulation, and Safety to oversee the coordination of transmission, renewable energy, and storage infrastructure.