Edge of Grid
An edge of grid community is one that sits on the edge of the South West Interconnected System (SWIS). The two main challenges in transporting electricity to edge of grid communities are long powerlines and peak usage, which can result in long and frequent outages. We are responding to these and other challenges through projects like the Green Town Project.
Changes to the Distribution Headworks Scheme
The State Government announced on 1 June 2010 that customers who paid a headworks charge for electrical upgrade work to their business or residential property would receive a 100% refund.
The headworks charge is a one-off charge for users connecting to the electricity network, or upgrading their connection, at remote or edge of grid locations where tariffs would not recover the cost of providing increased network capacity.
Western Power will facilitate the refund, with payments expected to commence in July. Western Power will contact affected customers to confirm contact details prior to issuing a refund. The refund is available to all customers who paid a headworks charge since the program began in 2007.
For future electrical upgrades the headworks charge will still apply with subsidies capped at a maximum of $1 million.
For further information please see the following documents
- 2010-11 State Budget fact sheet
- Headworks scheme frequently asked questions
- Distribution Headworks Scheme Policy (PDF 86 Kb)
Edge of grid communities are fed by rural powerlines (feeders). Rural powerlines can be up to 200 km long, where as metropolitan powerlines are at most 50 km long (and often underground). Long powerlines are more susceptible to damage caused by vegetation, weather, animals and traffic and create other power delivery challenges, such as maintaining voltage.
The peak is the point where demand for electricity is at its highest. Peaks are often quite short duration, around 2 or 3 days a year, usually in summer. It is very expensive to build and maintain electricity infrastructure to cope with this short peak, as it is underutilised the rest of the year.
Around $80 to $100 million is spent every year to augment the transmission and distribution networks to meet this peak demand.
The peak occurs for very short periods during the year (usually for less than 2% of the time), but accounts for about 15% of our total investment in electricity infrastructure.
Depending on the area and time of year, the peak times may occur in summer or winter. In Perth, Kalgoolie and areas north and east of Perth the peak is in summer between 4:00pm and 9:00pm while in Denmark and Walpole peak demand is in winter between 5:30pm and 7:30pm, and during busy holiday periods when a lot more people visit the area.
Putting in place cost-effective peak reducing programs is an effective way to relieve constraints on distribution lines at lower costs than the traditional method of building ‘more poles and wires’. See Demand Side Management for further information.
Morawa and Perenjori
The Community Energy Engagement Project in Morawa and Perenjori aims to work in partnership with both communities to develop energy initiatives which will improve power reliability.
On the 4 May 2009 the Minister for Regional Development requested Western Power and Horizon Power resolve the power quality and reliability issues affecting Ravensthorpe.
Denmark / Walpole Green Town
The Green Town Project being implemented in Denmark and Walpole is a series of environmentally friendly energy initiatives originally developed by Western Power and the communities of Denmark and Walpole, via the South Coast Power Working Group, to promote energy efficiency, reduce peak power consumption and improve power reliability.