The Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) has given regulatory approval for Western Power’s Mid West Energy Project (Stage 1 Southern Section), marking a significant milestone for the project and the Mid West.
The positive pre-New Facilities Investment Test decision confirms that the benefits the Mid West Energy Project will bring to customers outweigh the cost of the infrastructure, providing assurance that the project is an efficient means of meeting the future power needs of customers.
The Mid West Energy Project (MWEP) is one of the most important infrastructure projects in Western Australia. It will provide the capacity to meet increasing demand for electricity and facilitate the connection of power generators and loads to the network. This will strengthen the reliability and security of the power network.
It is proposed that the Mid West Energy Project is delivered in two stages:
- Southern Section (Stage 1) - Connects Neerabup (Perth) to Three Springs with a 330-kV double circuit transmission line. This will enable the connection of a number of mining projects in the Mid West (including Karara Mine) and provide additional support to the existing 132-kV network in the region by establishing a new 330/132-kV Terminal substation at Three Springs.
- Northern Section (Stage 2) - Connection through to Moonyoonooka (Geraldton). Key drivers for the MWEP Stage 2 (northern section) are prospective load growth in the Geraldton area (from existing customers and new block loads associated with the port and industrial estate developments at Oakajee and Geraldton Port), potential load growth from new iron ore mines north east of Geraldton, and new generators seeking connection (predominately wind). A number of options to meet future requirements have opened up and Western Power is conducting a detailed planning assessment in consultation with key stakeholder and the community to determine the best method and timing to meet future requirements. An Infrastructure Australia funding submission has been made.