TCS bags multi-year contract for Western Power systems overhaul

14 March 2022 3 min. read

Western Australia’s electricity network agency has tapped Tata Consultancy Services to support it with an overhaul of its legacy IT systems, aimed at delivering cheaper and more reliable power.

Indian multinational tech firm Tata Consultancy Services has been selected for a multi-year contract to support WA’s state-owned electricity network operator Western Power in digitally transforming its software systems.

Under the agreement (financial terms have not been disclosed), TCS will act as the primary systems integrator across asset management and network operations, and as secondary integrator for asset operations, finance, and in the corporate domain.

TCS bags multi-year contract for Western Power systems overhaul

The upgrade is part of the Western Australia government’s energy transformation strategy to ensure a cleaner and more reliable supply into the future, and TCS will also work with Western Power on the Western Australian and federal government’s Distributed Energy Resources Program virtual power-plant pilot, named Project Symphony, which aims to aggregate a network of solar-powered homes that collectively generate and store energy.

“Our network continues to evolve as a result of the growing adoption of renewable energies,” said Tracy Deveugle-Frink, Western Power’s head of ICT. “Western Power has reached out to organisations with appropriate capability as we deliver on this exciting phase of our transformation. TCS has been selected based on their domain knowledge in the utility and engineering sectors, and are well positioned to partner with us on our corporate objectives.”

Part of that domain knowledge comes from previous digital engagements in the Australian utilities and energy sector, including through a cloud transformation project with another local giant, AGL, which is currently subject to a take-over bid from green-minded Atlassian co-founder Michael Cannon-Brookes.

The global IT services firm has also worked with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), supporting testing on Azure-based data management solutions.

“Our expertise in cutting-edge technologies and deep knowledge of the utilities sector make us a preferred transformation partner to forward thinking utility companies in Australia,” said Vikram Singh, TCS head for ANZ. “The evolution and bold ambitions of Western Power coupled with our philosophy of active collaboration means together we are building a new approach to re-imagine, speed-up, and deliver critical infrastructure capabilities to WA.”

Western Power is responsible for a network covering more that 255,000 square kilometres, greater than that of the UK and roughly six times the size of the Netherlands, servicing the Perth metropolitan area and stretching from Albany in the south to Kalbarri in the north, with Kalgoorlie included in its eastern flank. Its network consists of over 100,000 kilometres of power-lines, as well as more than 800,000 poles & towers and 250,000 streetlights.

The news of TCS’s appointment comes a week before the sudden shock resignation of Western Power CEO Edward Kalajzic, who got his career start as a manager in the transactions division of professional services firm PwC before going on to spend a decade at grain company CBH Group, including a period as CFO. Western Power said that Kalajzic has accepted another outside opportunity, which is expected to be announced shortly.