The Pilbara region has a population of approximately 47,500. The Pilbara is Western Australia’s principle mining region, with industry production valued at $34.5 billion in 2009-10, 48.7 per cent of the State’s mineral production.
The NWIS has grown, since the early 1970s, when the iron ore mining companies installed generation and transmission systems to provide electricity for their own purposes. These stand alone, or islanded, systems were finally interconnected, in 1985, State Energy Commission of WA to serve residential communities and commercial customer requirements.
There are five parties involved in the ownership and operation of the NWIS:
The NWIS now extends across an area measuring some 400 km east to west and 350 km north to south.
The NWIS services the communities of Dampier, Wickham, Pannawonica, Paraburdoo and Tom Price through the Pilbara Iron (Rio Tinto) Network and Port Hedland, South Hedland, Karratha, Roebourne and Point Samson through the Horizon Power Network.
The NWIS continues to support booming iron ore, gas, minerals and tourism industries and the communities that make up the Pilbara region of Western Australia.