30/09/2015 - 13:03

Synergy welcomes WA power control switch

30/09/2015 - 13:03

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Transferring control of large swathes of WA’s electricity market to the east-coast based national regulator has been welcomed by dominant market player Synergy.

Synergy welcomes WA power control switch
Synergy chairman Lyndon Rowe. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Transferring control of large swathes of WA’s electricity market to the east coast-based national regulator has been welcomed by dominant market player Synergy.

Synergy said the move to transfer parts of the electricity market management to the national operator was a vital part of widespread reforms aimed at driving down electricity prices.

Energy Minister Mike Nahan had flagged, as part of major changes to WA’s isolated and expensive wholesale energy market, that the Australian Energy Market Operator would takeover the functions of System Management, the entity that schedules generators and manages the real-time operation of WA’s power system, and the wholesale electricity market operations .

This transfer has now come into effect, while the planned transfer to AEMO of the Gas Bulletin Board and Gas Statement of Opportunities, which previously fell under the remit of the Independent Market Operator, is under way.

AEMO is set to take even more control of WA’s electricity market when it assumes the functions of the retail market operator in 2018, once residents and small businesses are allowed to buy electricity from providers other than Synergy.

Synergy chairman Lyndon Rowe said the transfers provided a much-needed national perspective at a time when the energy sector was facing significant challenges.

AEMO will have a WA presence, with a corporate office and electricity system control room in Perth.

“There are important lessons in relation to efficient market operation, and competitive market practices that can be adopted in Western Australia under the AEMO model,” he said.

While reforms under way had also considered WA becoming a part of the National Electricity Market, which operates in all states and territories except WA and the Northern Territory, Mr Nahan has said the government would maintain its own wholesale electricity market arrangements.

Earlier this month Business News published an energy and power feature, including reports on the review process, highlighting concerns many market players still had about the process, including Synergy’s continued dominance and flawed aspects of market rules.

 

 

 

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