Any decision made regarding the future power supply for Esperance will ensure that we continue to meet our commitment of delivering safe and reliable power. We are working closely with the Southern Ports Authority, as the Port of Esperance is a significant energy consumer in the region.
Esperance Power Project
Horizon Power is committed to providing safe and reliable power for Esperance at the lowest possible cost to the State.
Horizon Power is undertaking a program of work to secure a future power solution supply for Esperance from March 2022 that delivers the best service to our customers and value for money for the State Government.
Power to our Esperance customers is currently provided by the gas-powered Esperance Power Station, six other independent power stations and a vast distribution network spanning a service area of 22,712 km2.
The first step of the project was the running of an open market expression of interest process to find private companies interested in partnering with us. We have shortlisted possible partners that have a well-established track record in delivering generation solutions, with access to the latest technology and the financial means to deliver state-of-the-art generation.
Renewable energy options are not excluded from the process. Distributed and/or centralised renewable energy technology such as solar, battery storage and wind generation will be considered and evaluated, supported by traditional diesel, natural gas or LNG (liquefied natural gas) fuelled generation.
The solution will need to cater for the changing needs of how customers want to manage their power to remain relevant for the region’s energy future.
The existing contractual agreement with the private company which owns the existing Esperance Power Station remains in place and it will be some time before a final decision is made.
Our current contract with the Esperance Power Station includes the energy generated by the Esperance wind farms. The wind farms are owned by the State Government under a contract between Synergy and the Esperance Power Station owners.
Esperance Power Project fact sheet
If you would like to know more about our Esperance Power Project, please download our fact sheet.Download PDF (339Kb)
- Why is Horizon Power conducting this process?
Horizon Power is conducting this process to identify a future solution to supply power to its more than 9,000 Esperance customers from March 2022.
The solution needs to cater for changes in power demand into the future and remain relevant in 20 years’ time.
- What other options if any is Horizon Power exploring?
Horizon Power is licensed to generate, distribute and retail electricity which means that it also has the option of constructing and operating its own generation solution for the Esperance region.
Value for money, safety and reliability of supply are key considerations in the decision-making process and therefore Horizon Power chose to approach the open market to assess the best possible solution from both a technological and cost perspective.
- What does this mean for the Esperance community?
Horizon Power will keep the community informed as the project progresses and will consult widely with relevant stakeholders and subject matter experts to ensure the best outcome for its customers.
- What is a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)?
A Power Purchase Agreement is a contract with an Independent Power Provider to purchase electricity to supply to our customers.
- Is this a common practice for Horizon Power to purchase electricity from third parties?
In a number of towns serviced by Horizon Power, the central power station is owned and operated by the third party and contracts are in place for the purchase of electricity from the power stations.
As technology changes and renewable energy becomes more affordable, distributed energy systems incorporating rooftop solar, battery storage and back-up gas or diesel generation will become more commonplace.
In Onslow, Horizon Power has a distributed energy trial underway using a centralised solar, battery and gas generation system which will soon include solar on customer rooftops.
- How does Horizon Power currently supply power to its Esperance customers?
Horizon Power purchases electricity from Esperance Power Station which is owned by private company Infrastructure Capital Group.
The Esperance Port currently purchases its own power from the power station directly.
- How many customers in Esperance does Horizon Power supply electricity to?
Horizon Power currently has more than 9,000 customers connected to our network in the Esperance region.
- When does Horizon Power expect to make a decision / award the contract?
The EOI is the first in a number of steps in the overall process. It will be some time before a final decision is made.
- What are the next steps in the process?
The EOI process will help inform what the final supply solution will look like which will be subject to a competitive market process. Horizon Power is evaluating strict criteria and applying due diligence to ensure Esperance customers continue to have a safe and reliable power supply into the future.
- Has the Esperance community been consulted/engaged in the process? If not, why?
Horizon Power has consulted with various stakeholders such as local Members of Parliament, the Esperance Tjaltjraak Native Title Aboriginal Corporation, the Goldfields Esperance Development Commission, the Esperance Chamber of Commerce and Industry, local members of Parliament, the Shire of Esperance and the Southern Ports Authority.
The Esperance community will continue to be updated with relevant project activities and milestones.
- Will there be any benefits to the local community from this process? E.g. the creation of local jobs?
It is too early in the process for us to speculate about the creation of jobs.
- Will this process result in a lower electricity prices for customers?
The domestic power tariff in Esperance is the same as the rest of the state, under the Uniform Tariff Policy. Esperance’s power supply is expensive and is subsidised by the State to ensure customers in Esperance pay no more per unit of power than customers in the Perth metropolitan area. By seeking the most cost effective power solution, Horizon Power can reduce the subsidy required and lessen the burden on the State’s finances.
The State Government sets the price of electricity (otherwise known as tariffs). These tariffs are charged to residents and businesses in both Perth and regional Western Australia.
Most of Horizon Power’s customers pay a tariff that is much lower than the actual cost of purchasing or generating, distributing and retailing electricity. The difference between the tariffs customers pay and the actual cost is subsidised by the State Government. The Government subsidy for 2018-19 is around $3,900 per customer.
- Will there be any disruptions to the community’s electricity supply during this process?
No major disruptions to power are anticipated as part of this project. Horizon Power’s priority is to provide all customers with an electricity supply which is safe and reliable and where interruptions are kept to a minimum.