Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
Western Australia’s biggest electricity system will need to roughly triple in size over the next 20 years, as the state seeks to wean itself off fossil fuels and go green.
In a landmark report released today, the West Australian government outlined the massive scale of building that would be required to replace coal-fired power stations and meet surging demand from customers — particularly industry — electrifying their operations.
The state's energy minister, Bill Johnston, revealed an extra 4,000 kilometres of new high-voltage transmission lines would need to be built by 2042 under the government’s central plans.
Within the same time frame, Mr Johnston said peak demand for electricity from the state’s main grid — the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) — would treble to about 13,000 megawatts.
The minister also revealed the amount of generation capacity in the system would need to jump by a factor of 10, to account for rocketing demand and the intermittent nature of wind and solar power.
Despite the monumental scale of the flagged expansion, Mr Johnston said just $126 million would be initially set aside to help “kickstart early network planning”.
More: West Australian government reveals massive scale of going green — but who’s going to pay is yet to be worked out