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Electricity market changes to boost network security in WA

Western Power has welcomed State Government changes to the operation of the wholesale electricity market, with Chief Executive Officer Paul Italiano saying the move would increase back-up options for running WA's isolated market and enhance security of electricity supplies in the State.

As part of the Government's Electricity Market Review, Energy Minister Mike Nahan today announced that the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) would undertake responsibility for the operation of WA’s wholesale electricity market, and eventually the management of the electricity system.

Mr Italiano said the move was a positive step that would provide greater security for electricity users in the State, and that Western Power had already begun preparations for the new regime, which will see Western Power's System Management function merged with the new market operator.

“AEMO brings a wealth of system and market operation experience, enabling the best of both local and national skills to be harnessed for WA’s evolving electricity market,” Mr Italiano said.

“Western Power has already held positive discussions with AEMO and the control centre for the South West Interconnected System will remain in Western Australia.”

“We have also had a preliminary conversation about establishing the centre as a possible back-up site for the National Electricity Market, which is a significant vote of confidence in Western Power’s existing System Management team.”

“Similarly, existing AEMO control centres in Sydney and Brisbane may be equipped to provide emergency back-up for the Western Australian market, providing greater levels of security for electricity users in this State and Australia.”

Mr Italiano said he looked forward to working with AEMO in coming months to establish exact details of the move of Western Power’s System Management functions to AEMO, after AEMO had consolidated its move to assume control of WA's Independent Market Operator.

For more information on Western Power, visit us at www.westernpower.com.au, follow us on Twitter @westernpowerwa and Facebook on Western Power WA, or download the Western Power App from your smartphone store.

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