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The modular network: Our energy future

The delivery of electricity is evolving and Western Power is helping to shape the power grid of the future.

The old ways of designing and building the electricity network are gone.

To improve your power supply, keep network costs down and respond to customer demand for renewable energy choices, we’re evolving from a network built solely on transmission and distribution lines to a modular grid.

That’s a grid that connects solar, batteries, advanced meters, microgrids and stand-alone power systems seamlessly with the essential poles and wires.

Those connections are not always literal. Stand-alone power systems are fully autonomous, meaning they don't need to be connected to the grid to operate (technically, our current trial projects are grid-connected, however upon completion of the trials they can operate fully independent of the grid).

Microgrids are set to bring communities together and boost reliability, and may not always be network-connected.

We are embracing this change and exploring new opportunities to deliver power solutions to customers.

The modular network will provide you with more choice in how you produce, manage and use your energy. In the future you’ll be able to sell or share your excess energy generated through solar or other technologies, own a piece of a community battery and manage your electricity use with an advanced meter.

Can’t wait? It will be here sooner than you think. In fact, many elements like stand-alone power systems and microgrids are already here.

We partner with commercial providers like to Energy Made Clean, Balance Energy and Power Ledger to deliver innovative energy solutions and trials.

Not one-size-fits-all

When it comes to energy solutions, it’s not a case of one-size-fits-all.

Every community has unique energy needs and we work with local governments, stakeholders and residents to ensure solutions are tailored their needs.

Kalbarri residents wanted a green solution to their power reliability issues. So we’re building one of Australia’s biggest renewable energy microgrids to support the region.

Rural powerlines – hundreds of kilometres long – cause too many outages for customers at the fringe of the network. So we’re trialling stand-alone power systems to great success.

We’re piloting a network battery in Perenjori as a backup supply to reduce unplanned outages for people in the town.

It’s an exciting time for energy in Western Australia and one that we’re all-in with.

To deliver a true modular network, the regulatory framework we adhere to requires amendments. It’s not fit for purpose and we are working with regulators to help us exploit new technology for the benefit of our customers.

The modular network will provide you with the best mix of network-connected power and home energy solutions for a better energy future.

Our electricity network is essentially a giant microgrid – disconnected from the larger energy network that connects most customers in Australia. It puts us in a unique position to trial new technologies and innovations as we are largely self-contained with only one network operator – us!