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Utility gears up for new order

WESTERN Power is preparing for the deregulation of WA’s power industry.

It has developed emPower, which includes flexible tariff, billing and metering options and a range of diagnostic and energy planning services to improve energy efficiency.

The service is limited to

customers that draw one megawatt or more of power at any one time, such as shopping centres or hospitals.

It is available to customers on the South West interconnected system that stretches from Kalbarri to Albany and out to the Goldfields.

Western Power general manager marketing and sales John Lillywhite said those services would be supported by a controlled-access website specially designed for the utility’s major customers.

“Competition is a fact of life for Western Power through the deregulation of the WA electricity market,” Mr Lillywhite said.

“About 35 per cent of WA’s generation capacity is privately owned and a growing number of major electricity users are supplied by private generators in competition with Western Power.

“As of 1 January, more than 30 per cent of our annual consumption on the South West interconnected system will be open to competition,” he said.

Western Power is also near to completing an $8 million project to have all of its major computer systems Year 2000 compliant.

The utility’s five major power stations at Muja, Kwinana, Pinjar, Bunbury and Collie and three smaller facilities at Mungarra, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie have been put through the Y2K mill.

Kwinana power station is the most complex station to test as it has the most computerised and integrated system.

Muja is not as technologically integrated as Kwinana but has been put through the same Y2K test methodology.

Gas turbine power stations at Pinjar, Mungarra, Bunbury, Geraldton and Kalgoorlie are not expected to experience any significant Y2K problems.

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